Debates- Tuesday, 12th February, 2008

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Tuesday, 12th February 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The following Member took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance:

Cecil Almos Holmes




Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other national duties, Hon. G. W. Mpombo, MP, Minister of Defence, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 12th to Friday, 15th February, 2008.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform you that the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council will conduct a workshop for hon. Members of Parliament in the Auditorium, here, at Parliament Buildings, on Monday, 18th February, 2008. The workshop will start at 0830 hours.

The purpose of the workshop is to enlighten hon. Members on issues related to the multi-sectional response and mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS, Human Rights and Legal Matters in relation to HIV/AIDS.

This is an important subject and hon. Members are encouraged to attend this workshop.

Thank you, again.

A mobile phone rung.

Mr Speaker: That mobile phone will be surrendered now. Wherever it is or whoever has got it, should surrender it now.





The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity you have given me to issue a ministerial statement on the status of the New Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

Sir, you will recall that as we approached 31st December, 2007, the deadline for the conclusion of the EPAs with the European Commission (EU), a lot of concern was expressed by the public on what benefits would accrue to Zambia once the preferences under the Lome Convention were replaced by the EPAs.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Zambia led the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) Negotiating Team to Brussels in November, 2007, where it became apparent that successful conclusion on all the negotiating areas would not be possible by the 31st December, 2007 deadline.

Sir, our concerns, as ESA, included, among others, obtaining adequate flexibility on the levels of liberalisation and the transition periods, and additional resources to mitigate the adjustment costs.

Mr Speaker, in recognition of Zambia’s limited domestic market in the face of increased economic and social development needs, the Government sought access to wider markets in the region and overseas. One such market has been the European Union (EU), which has been Zambia’s historical trading partner and whose link has contributed to the expansion of non-traditional exports from US$89 million in 1988 to US$880 million in 2007.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, Zambia presented a market access offer as part of our EPA negotiations in order to secure the enhanced market access that was offered by the European Commission (EC), including simplified rules of origin and an additional 75,000 tonnes of sugar quota to the ESA group. However, Zambia was not able to reach an agreement with the EC on the level of tariff liberalisation and the accompanying transitional periods.

Sir, it was always our understanding that our engagement with the EC as part of the ESA and as a Least Development Country (LDC) would be influenced by the principle of special and differential treatment. As such, Zambia felt that this principle was not applied by the EC in our negotiations on the market access offer.

Sir, you may wish to know that so far, twenty ACP countries have initial interim agreements with the EC while fifteen from the Caribbean have signed a full EPA. Out of these, nine are from the East and Southern African (ESA) configuration namely, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychells, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda who signed under the East Africa Community (EAC).

Mr Speaker, Zambia merely initialed agreement as part of our commitment with the process which, however, does not allow us to begin to trade under the EPAs. Zambia is among the six ESA countries currently trading under Everything But Arms (EBA) Initiative. The others are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi and Sudan.

Mr Speaker, in view of these developments and their impact on regional integration and, in particular, their impact on the Zambian economy, Zambia, with the support of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), initiated a meeting of the Special Ministerial Sub-Committee on EPAs on 10th February, 2008 in Lusaka and was attended by Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sudan, Seychelles, Mauritius, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. The meeting’s objective was to review the EPA negotiation process todate, the negotiation issues as well as the negotiation structure in order to provide more clarity on further engagement with the EC. The meeting also acted as a preparatory meeting for the ESA Councils of Ministers Meeting with Commissioner Peter Mandelson scheduled for 4th March, 2008 in Lusaka which will attempt to open dialogue on outstanding issues.

Mr Speaker, Zambia’s pursuit to conclude an EPA with the EC has been guided by the need to develop a partnership that supports economic transformation efforts to create more jobs and wealth at national level and also strengthen regional integration. These market access initiatives have been complemented by national programmes aimed at building private sector productivity and competitiveness. Some of the specific programmes include:

(i) Export Development Programme under ZDA, whose support has been directed at enhancing the capacity of support institutions such as the Zambia Export Growers Association, the Coffee Growers Association of Zambia and the Honey Council in their service delivery to their members. Financial support has also been directed at productivity and competitiveness of the private sector through improved technical support, product development and identification of new markets.

(ii) Capacity building for the private sector development project is targeted at improving performance and service delivery in Government and its statutory bodies. A total allocation of 15 million Euros has been made available for this project. Among some of the capacity building activities, are enhancing the capacities of test laboratories to ensure that Zambia’s export trade is not affected by technical barriers or standard requirements; enhancing the negotiating capacity within the ministry; and promoting growth of the small and medium scale enterprises.

(iii) Additional support has been secured from the United Nations Development Organisation (UNIDO) to further strengthen the laboratories at Zambia Bureau of Standards, Zambia Weights and Measures Agency, the Food and Drug Laboratory and the Plant Quarantine and Phyto-sanitary Unit under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. The total amount for the UNIDO project is US$3 million to be disbursed over a period of three years, starting 2008.

(iv) The private sector is also being assisted to improve their productive capacities through regional programmes administered by COMESA and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

(v) The provision of general tax incentives and other incentives to the export sector through the National Budget as well as through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act provisions.

(vi) The establishment of Multi-facility Economic Zones in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. This initiative is aimed at enhancing our production capacity, transfer of technical skills and creating further industrial linkages in the economy, particularly between the small and big business.

Mr Speaker, I wish to call upon the House to continue to support these initiatives so that our citizens can participate in the industrialisation process by exporting not only to the region but to the EU market as well. Together, we can transform Zambia. Yes, we can.

Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude by stating that the Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry will continue to update this august House on the status of the EPA negotiations as they unfold.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement which has been given by the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how Zambia intends to attain the export levels to the European Union when the rate of the kwacha to the dollar is at K3,700.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in the statement, we made it clear that in 1988, we were only exporting US$89 million to the EU. Last year, we were able to export over US$880 million.

Mr Speaker, the rate of exchange has a dual impact. At the rate of K3,700, it still remains sufficiently attractive for us to continue to expand the EU market. Indeed, I may add that particularly in the sugar sector, the expansion that is being made by Zambia Sugar of US$120 million will contribute to further enhancing the export market of sugar into the EU and obviously by the end of the year, we should be able to exceed total exports of US$880 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry recognise that the current Economic Partnership Agreements are merely scratching the surface of potential trade with the EU? Would the hon. Minister, therefore, together with his colleagues at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development promise that they will seriously engage in unlocking one door of resource, which is the processing of copper, and which is currently centred on this country as a raw material? Would they promise that in doing this, they will create real employment, real wealth, and add value to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? When will they do that?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, firstly, we do not have the current EPAs. What we are trading under is called Everything but Arms. Sir, one of the defects of this trading arrangement is that it is predominantly a raw material based export regime going only under single transformation. It is, precisely, what the hon. Member has said and that is the reason we are negotiating with the EU so that they can permit exports from Zambia which go into second and third transformation and change the rules of origin. Therefore, what he is saying is precisely what we are going to negotiate for in 2008.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, in the hon. Minister’s statement, he has told the House that Zambia has just initialed the EPAs. Will he inform this House what that means and whether the contents of benefits as outlined in this statement will apply at the initialing of that document.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the significance of initialing an interim agreement is that Zambia still remains in engaged in the negotiating process leading to a full EPA. At the moment, we continue to trade under Everything But Arms.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, from 1988 to date, what new non-traditional export products have found their way on to the international market using the initiatives that your ministry have put in place, if at all there are any?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, firstly, we have said that the volume of trade has moved from US $89 million to US $880 million. Of this volume, almost US$170 million is cut flowers.  Of this amount, we are also exporting honey, cotton and sugar to the EU.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for informing the House on the process of the EPAs. However, could I find out when his ministry intends to give full fledged information on the EPAs to hon. Members of Parliament through a workshop where people can interact with his ministry on this very important trade agreement?

Sir, secondly and with your permission, the hon. Minister talked about the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ). Could I find out what exit route the Government has come with in the MFEZ to ensure that we are not caught up in the same way we have been with the Development Agreements over the mines, which were also proposed and passed in the same way that the MFEZ is being passed?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we did indicate in the statement that on 4th March, 2008, we shall be engaging with Commissioner Mendelson to begin dealing with the outstanding issues that should culminate into a full EPA. We felt that after the engagement with Commissioner Mendelson, we will then be able to organise a workshop for hon. Members so that we can give them a full basket of issues as we see them unfolding for the rest of the year. Therefore, we commit ourselves to organising that particular workshop.

Mr Speaker, the whole concept of MFEZ is anchored on transformation or industrialisation for the purpose of accessing superior markets, not only in Europe, but elsewhere. Therefore, in Lusaka, we will be able to industrialise and create finished products that can access the European markets. That is the benefit of planning a MFEZ in Lusaka for a wider market. This is because we believe that in industrialisation, we create more jobs and opportunities. Therefore, there is a proper link between MFEZ and access to the EU.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the Development Agreements that are being discussed, the  Ministry of Finance and National Planning has merely altered the tax regime for the crying people of Zambia in terms of harvesting from their natural resources that we continue to reap from the mining sector. This is critically important. The MFEZ and the incentives therein are guided under the Zambia Development Agency Act and we believe that unless we provide a process that enhances industrialisation, we are going to continue to be a country that will be exporting raw materials and, therefore, not create opportunities, jobs and wealth for our people.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the volume of exports has increased tremendously from 1988. May I know the volume of imports in the same period?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, as of 2007, our total imports were in the range of US $560 million, meaning that we had a net surplus in our trade regime with the EU.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that UNIDO is giving us US $3 million to use in the next three years. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether that is a grant or a loan and, if it is a loan, does it not undermine the next three years’ income for the country?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, it is a grant.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has talked about a basket of issues to be discussed. Can he, perhaps, from that basket of issues, inform this House where regional integration and replacement costs will come in for liberalising our trade internationally and regionally. This is because there will be gaps of income, which the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning desperately needs. Otherwise, it is as stated.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, one of the difficulties that we had was the configuration of the East and Southern African group.

This picked up some countries that belong to COMESA, East African Community and some countries that belong SADC and were put to a new configuration. That in itself, to some extent, undermines this whole concept of regional integration. In our discussion with Commissioner Mendelson, we are going to emphasise that Africans, we are one block. In negotiating the EPAs, we are one block. We are going to take the experience of the EPAs that have been concluded with the East African Community, Caribbean and the arrangement that they have got in SADC. Therefore, this is the minimum platform. We can only build on what we have already agreed going forward. So, that is our rule of engagement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




139. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Education

(a) when the Government would rehabilitate teachers houses in he following basic schools in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency;

(i) Mwenda Basic School;

(ii) Kanshimba Basic School;

(iii) Kamami Basic school; and

(iv) Chipili Basic School; and

(b) when the houses above were last rehabilitated and what the total cost of rehabilitating the houses was.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Ministry of Education’s 2008 Provincial Annual Work Plan has provided for the rehabilitation of six houses at Mwenda Basic School, four houses at Kamami Basic School and two staff houses at Kanshimba Basic School. Houses at Chipili Basic School are still in good condition as they were rehabilitated recently.

Mr Speaker, the houses at Kashimba and Mwenda Basic schools were last rehabilitated in 1993 and funded by Micro Projects Unit at a total cost of K35,171,377.00 only. Houses at Chipili Basic were rehabilitated using schools grants in 2002 and the total cost was K204 million.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the houses are in a bad state and, as a result, new teachers who have been recruited have started running away. What is the ministry doing to solve this problem?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we have already stated what we are doing at the schools.

 I thank you, Sir.


140. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked he Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what the latest position was regarding the Mulyashi Project at the Luanshya Copper Mines plc.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the latest position regarding the Mulyashi Project is that work is continuing within the major areas as follows:

(i) Firstly, the detailed design work being undertaken by Bateman in Australia is continuing. Currently, the company is working on the detailed design for the Copper Solvent Extraction Electro Winning (SX/EW) Plant. However, working on the leach pads is complete as well as the Run of Mines pads and crushing circuits.

Mr Speaker, the House would wish to know that mining operations will commence in mid-2009 and the first copper cathode is expected at the end of 2009.

(ii) The permanent power supply is expected to be commissioned to meet the requirements of the first copper cathode to be produced at the end of 2009. Water supply for the permanent operational requirements will be from three sources, namely ground water from Baluba underground mine, water in Mulyashi portal and Kafue rivers.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the Mulyashi Project was sold to Luanshya Copper Mines at a total cost of about US $35 million to be paid in two installments. May I know how much money has been paid as down payment, the balance and when the balance will be paid.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Roan for the interest he continues to show in the mining industry in general and Luanshya in particular. However, the question that he has asked requires detailed research and we can provide the answer at a later stage because we do not have it now.

 I thank you, Sir.


141. Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Education when Lusuntha Basic School and Lusuntha High School in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency which are less than five kilometres from the Malawian National Grid would be supplied with electricity.

Mr Sinyinda: I would like to inform the House that Lusuntha Day Secondary is planned to be considered for electrification in the 2009 Budget. At the moment, the priority has been given to the construction of classrooms and a 1 X 3 classroom block which has been completed. This year, a laboratory will be constructed.

Sir, Lusuntha Middle Basic School is expected to access the electricity facility through the Rural Electrification Programme when it takes off in the district.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


142. I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Great East Road from Nyimba to Mwami Border would be resurfaced; and

(b) when the Msolo/Chipata Road would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Ndalamei): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that in 2006, the ministry, through the Road Development Agency, started to carry out the resurfacing of the Great East Road from Sinda to Katete and in 2007 this was extended to the sections between Katete and Mtenguleni. The resurfacing of both sections was carried out and completed in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

There is a provision of K13.3 billion for the resurfacing of the section between Mtenguleni and Mwami Border via Chipata. The contractor to carry out the works has already been appointed at a contract sum of K13.2 billion. The works are expected to commence shortly after the rainy season.

Sir, the ministry has also entered into negotiations with the contractor appointed to carry out the resurfacing of Mtenguleni/Chipata/Mwami Border Road between Nyimba and Sinda as an addendum to the above mentioned contract. There is an amount of K2.5 billion provided in the 2008 Annual Work Plan for the maintenance of Nyimba/Sinda Road. The ministry also wishes to report that the European Union and the African Development Bank have expressed willingness to finance the rehabilitation of some portions of the Great East Road from Nyimba to Mwami Border Post.

The African Development Bank (ADB) has commissioned a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of Chipata/Lundazi Road. The study report will be the basis for requesting funds from the ADB or any other co-operating partner to carry out rehabilitation of the project road as shall be determined by the study.

Mr Speaker, meanwhile, the ministry has put money in the 2008 Annual Plan to start the works before we get funding from ADB and any other partners.

The ministry is also concerned about the deplorable condition of the Chipata/Msoro Road which will be done under the budget line for the local road authorities by the Chipata Municipal Council beginning 2008 and will be completed in 2009.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, did I hear the hon. Minister right when he said that a contract is about to be entered or has been entered and works will start soon after rains have stopped? Sir, knowing this Government, it has already paid a deposit and the contractor will be “chewing” the money. By the time he starts working, the deposit will have already been exhausted and nothing will be done. Have you paid a deposit as you always do?

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The word “chewing” is unparliamentary.


Hon. Opposition Member: Munching!
Mr Hachipuka: Sorry, Mr Speaker, I withdraw the term “chewing” and substitute it with the word “eating.”


Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, I wish to advise my elder brother that we do not eat money but food.

To answer the question asked by the hon. Member, I wish to state that as a policy, the Government will no longer pay advance payments. We wait for the contractor to start the work, we produce a certificate and then we pay.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, works on Nyimba/Chipata Road started some time in 2001. Up until now, nothing has been done. As citizens, we are worried that …

Mr Speaker: Order! You are debating, ask your question.

Mr Silavwe: When will the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, through the Ministry of Works and Supply, put in enough money to finish the Nyimba/Chipata Road so that we do not keep on paying more interest to the contractors?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, the national cake is shared equally. However, each and every Member of Parliament in here would want to see something done in their constituency. The cake is shared so that there is something being done everywhere in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, what mechanism has the ministry put in place to ensure that a quality job is done?

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, we have employed qualified engineers in all the provincial headquarters and they are provided with transport in order for them to be checking on the works going on.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ndalamei: Sir, this year, we are sure that there will be quality work done.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I want to know when the policy of not giving advance payment came into effect because as far as I am concerned, it is not there.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, to my knowledge, this will be effected with the new contracts that will be given this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Tembo (Nyimba): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the consultants are refusing to tender for the road from Nyimba to Sinda due to inadequate funds?

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, I am not aware. However, I wish to invite the hon. Member of Parliament to come to my office so that we can discuss.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale: Saziba!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to confirm that the Chipata/Nyimba Road is in a deplorable state and it is very strange to see some of the hon. Members of Parliament from Eastern Province praising that Government.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mrs Musokotwane: Yes!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, that is why we have already said that money has been put in the 2008 Budget to work on the roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


144. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Justice when the local court buildings in Chief Shakumbila’s area would be rehabilitated.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC): Mr Speaker, the Government has a programme to construct and rehabilitate local courts buildings countrywide. However, given the large number of local court buildings requiring rehabilitation, it is not possible to accommodate rehabilitation of all court buildings within one financial year. Due to budgetary constraints, therefore, I am unable to say as to when the local court buildings in Chief Shakumbila’s area will be rehabilitated.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister of Justice has mentioned that Government has plans of rehabilitating local court buildings, can he indicate a few of these local courts that need to be renovated?

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, they are in the budget but since we have not yet started dealing with individual Heads, I would encourage the hon. Member to go through the budget and identify those courts.

I thank you, Sir.



145. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) how much the Government would spend on hosting the Smart Partnership International Dialogue in 2008;

(b) how many delegates were expected to attend; and

(c) in which month the conference would be held.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, the Smart Partnership International Dialogue will be held from 28th July to 1st August in Lusaka, which will coincide with the Agricultural and Commercial Show. Participants are expected to have a field trip to the show which will expose Zambia’s agricultural sector, as well as commerce, trade and industry.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to inform this House how many delegates will come from outside from the 400 delegates who will attend that conference.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is hosting the secretariat that is organising this Smart Partnership in Zambia, at the end of July and beginning of August this year. We are currently still trying to work out the logistics and receiving confirmations from those that intend to participate. So, when we do have that information and have fully compiled it, we will be able to inform this House on how many delegates will come from outside Zambia, as well as Government and private sector participation from within Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


147. Mr Chanda asked the Minister of Education when the antiquated toilets in the following schools in Kankoyo Parliamentary Constituency would be replaced by modern ones:

(i) Kankoyo Basic School;
(ii) Muleya Basic School; and 
(iii) Chankwa Basic School.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, construction of the toilets started with Chankwa Basic School, which has a brand new ablution block with only the sewer not completed. Muleya Basic School has a new standard ablution block and Kankoyo Basic School has been included under rehabilitation for 2008.

I thank you, Sir.


148. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport how much revenue the Road Traffic Commission raised from motor vehicle licences from 2001 to 2006, year by year.

The Deputy Minster of Communication and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, the performance in the collection of revenue by Road Traffic Commission/Road Traffic and Safety Agency is as follows:

Year        Actual                                          Collecting Institution

2001     K9,971,616,182.00                                  RTC
2002    K20,439,634,158.00                                 RTC
2003    K21,040,996,210.00                                 RTC
2004    K18,142,537,148.00                                 RTC
2005    K35,571,116,135.00                                 RTC
2006    K46,753,751,583.00                              RTC/RTSA
Total 2001 – 2006       K151,919,651,416.00  
        2007 up to Nov.    K88,470,839,709.72         RTSA

The collection of revenue by RTC and RTSA has improved over time. The figure for 2001 represented 51 per cent of the target and this increased to 94 per cent in 2006.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, with the figures that we have been given by the hon. Minister, it is clear that collection of revenue through motor licences is lucrative. Why did the hon. Minister, then, remove this from the councils because councils were making good money out of this revenue, and yet councils are now suffering? Does the hon. Minister think of taking this responsibility back to the councils to improve their financial base?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, it was not the ministry’s decision, but it was the Cabinet’s decision.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister as to why some districts like Gwembe have no centres for road licence collection. Why is it so?

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, there are few vehicles in Gwembe. So, it would be costly for us to put up an office in Gwembe. Therefore, people go to Monze, which is the nearest district, to buy their road licences.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister of Transport and Communications to explain why, on the Copperbelt, they have withdrawn the issuing of licences from agents and restricted it to Kitwe and Ndola, resulting in very long queues and, up to now, as I am speaking, a lot of people have not been able to buy these licences. Meanwhile, police are harassing and arresting motorists. Can he explain why this is so. This is a big inconvenience.

Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, we did so because of accountability. A lot of money was being lost because some people were trying to duplicate receipt books.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said there are only two vehicles in Gwembe. Is that an official statement or a personal opinion? This is because he is very much aware that the Member of Parliament for Gwembe is a car dealer and his vehicles are being bought in Gwembe. Is that an official statement?


Mr Mubika: Mr Speaker, I did not say there are two vehicles. I said there are few vehicles and Gwembe is near Monze.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport as regards to the setting up of the issuing offices on the Copperbelt, he stated that because of accountability they have centralised the offices for issuing licences on the Copperbelt. Would the hon. Minister be in a position to employ people that he thinks are going to be accountable and honest in places like Chingola and other places so that they can decentralise the issuing of the licences?

Mr Mukiba: Mr Speaker, we will consider the suggestion from the hon. Member of Parliament for Ndola Central.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, a few days ago the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport had to extend the time for buying of licences by motorists. Now, today, the hon. Deputy Minister is restating that position by saying that we Zambians will continue to be held at ransom and wait in queues. It is very clear to me that nothing is being done to improve the situation.

Mr Speaker, is it not in order for this Government to quickly work on logistics so that there are no queues in securing licences? As you can see along Lumumba Road, people continue to …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mukiba: Mr Speaker, we have improved in terms of issuing of licences. The Road Tax for 2008 was ready by October last year.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mukiba: Even now, I have seen hon. Members of Parliament that are driving vehicles but have not paid the Road Tax. I am giving them one week …


Mr Mubika: … after which I am going to impound all their vehicles. People have been waiting until the last minute to buy their road licences and that is why there are queues. Otherwise, the licences have been ready since October last year.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister tell this House when lamination equipment is fully going to be installed in Kasama, in Northern Province? It is so frustrating when people burn fuel for long distances from Kaputa, Mpika and other areas and just come back without the laminated paper.

Mr Mukiba: Mr Speaker, as a ministry we just issue licences. Lamination is done by individuals. If the hon. Member of Parliament does not know where to have it done I can offer to take him tomorrow to where I do my lamination from in town. Even in places like Mongu, …

Mr Kanyanyamina: Levy will fire you!

Mr Mubika: … Livingstone and everywhere else, it is being done by individuals.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Deputy Minister explain the drastic drop in revenue in 2004. In 2001, the ministry was collecting K9.9 billion, in 2002 K20.4 billion, in 2003 K21.04 billion and in 2004, it went to K18 billion when the trend is, in fact, going up because K35 billion was collected in 2005 and in 2006 K46 billion was collected. Can he explain the drop in 2004 and if he has no explanation, is he prepared to set up an enquiry to investigate why there was a drop in the collection of revenue for that year?

Mr Mukiba: Mr Speaker, as I stated in my response earlier, the collection of revenue was done manually and now is when we are changing from manual to electronic and that is why there is this increase. The other reason that I can cite is that, maybe, some people did not pay for their road licences.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Aah! Shakafuswa mwafweko!

Mr Mubika: Yes, this is February, 2008. For example, some of you paid up to June last year.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mubika: I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister cannot use the phrase “some of you” because these are hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Yes!

_____________ {mospagebreak}



(Debate resumed)


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me welcome my elder brother, Hon. Cecil Holmes, into this House and also congratulate him for his appointment as a hon. Cabinet Minister for Special Duties. It is just a pity that when he was being sworn in, his job description included organising the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) from branch up to constituency level.


Mr Lubinda: I hope that he will keep away from that because we would not like him to use public resources at State House to organise MMD.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: I am sure that His Honour the Vice-President, at an opportune time, will come and say that was a slip of the tongue.

Mr Speaker, before the House adjourned last Friday, I was talking about the influence that the Opposition has had on the 2008 Budget. I had mentioned one, which is the Mineral Royalty Tax. I did indicate that in 2005, the Opposition proposed that Parliament must come up with an amendment so that the Executive would be able to negotiate with the mine operators. I also made reference to the amendment that was moved by Hon. Musenge Mwenya to introduce a sliding profit tax but because of the arrogance on your Right side, this was not listened to.

Mr Speaker, I just want to reflect a little bit more on the Mineral Royalty Tax. I have to state that, again, I feel for my colleagues in the Executive. They went ahead and announced the US$415 million as expected income as though that income is to be earned this year and yet they are fully alive to the fact that this might not be the case. I would like to suggest to my colleagues in the Executive not to raise people’s expectations unnecessarily. The reason they are coming up with the idea of a special fund is that they are aware of the fact that they might not gain anything from the mineral taxes this year. My proposal is that they should please tone down on people’s expectations. They should tell the people that they want to spend this year on negotiating and come to a conclusion with the mine operators. If there will be any money that shall be forthcoming this year, it should not be utilised this year but reserved to be indicated and included in the Budget for 2009 because coming up with a special fund and a small committee to determine how that money will be expended is totally unconstitutional. I would like to advise my colleagues that it is more honourable to be honest to the Zambian people than to raise their expectations because they shall be held accountable. I would also like to suggest to you, hon. Deputy Minister, to please listen. There is no reason for arrogance.

Mr Speaker: Order! Order! Hon. Member, you will address the Chair to make sure the hon. Deputy Minister does not heckle you. 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I thank you for your guidance. Another area where the Opposition demonstrated that they are capable of influencing the Government in the 2008 Budget is on a matter that is very close to my heart. I debated it in the last sitting of Parliament and I am glad that the hon. Minister, even if he opposed it that time, upon reflection realised that our proposal on this side was meaningful and, therefore, introduced a tax on the export of cotton and other seed. This is as it should be. Our producers and manufacturers will suffer if you are going to export their raw materials free of duty.

Mr Speaker, the third area where we, in the Opposition, influenced the Government - something that I like very much and a matter on which Hon. Shakafuswa was very opposed - is the reduction of duty on musical instruments and art equipment.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: I am very delighted that we, in the Opposition, have pushed the Government to give that, duty free, to the Zambian children and youths.

Mr Speaker, in case some doubt that we have made impact on that Government. In the last Budget of 2007, the Government proposed a tax credit for disabled people of K36,000. These noble Opposition Members of Parliament increased it to K144,000. We argued our case and it is only now that it has dawned on our colleagues in Government that the disabled people deserve to be protected by their Government. Now they are above K600,000. Again, we are showing that on this side (Opposition) of the House, we do not only speak well, we also mean well for the Zambian people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: The only worry that I have with regard to disabled people is the enormous reduction on the provision to the National Training Centre for the disabled by a colossal sum of K78 million. I am hoping that the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, when she comes, will tell us how she hopes that institution will run when there is a reduction of more than 70 per cent, from K178 million to only K100 million this year. How will that centre run and how will the disabled be trained? Or are we saying that they are not deserving of skills?

Mr Speaker, I now want to move on to the concerns that I have on the Budget. The first one is a matter that has been debated by several hon. Members of Parliament, the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). The K100,000 increase in tax free threshold is obviously very significant if we mean to achieve the theme of this year’s Budget, “Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation”. I say this because if we compare that to what the Government has done to taxes for the middle income earners of this country, you will realise that the whole mix is lopsided. It is, as a matter of fact, hoodwinking the Zambian people.

Whereas there are 492,700 people who pay tax, with a K100,000 increase in tax free threshold; it means therefore, that total Government revenue loss amounts to K147,810,000,000. And yet the Budget Speech of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning states that the loss is only K64.8 billion. What does that mean? It means therefore that an extra K83 billion is being collected from another category of employees.

 Unfortunately, that is the category of middle income earners, those who are earning between K4 million and K5.2 million, whereas for people who earn a lot of money - between K20 million and K30 million - their tax has remained as it was in 2007. For those earning between K4 million and K5.2 million, their tax has been increased from 30 per cent to 35 per cent. And that is where the K83 billion is coming from. Who then, is supporting the lower people? It is not that Government; it is the middle income earners. What a country will you be? You want to become a middle income country by 2030 and yet you are destroying the middle income earners.

You cannot have a country of the rich and the poor, you require the middle class. It is actually the middle class that you would foster to grow to develop and be capable of investing and saving in your bank accounts. The rich have offshore accounts and it is not known whether the Government is meant to protect the maginalised - the poor because the loved (rich) do not need Government protection for they do not have many enemies. Yet this Government is supporting the rich (the loved) ones who can protect themselves and killing the middle class. That is very sad.

Mr Speaker, I can see that my time is running out, but let me reflect a little on the matter of Value Added Tax (VAT). Much as I agree that VAT reduction is a good thing, I lament to imagine that this Government is reducing VAT wholesomely - reducing VAT on perfume, artificial hair, cigarettes and beer. What a shame and scandal!

Mr Speaker, I would like to propose to this Government that the K21.7 billion which they are calling a revenue loss as a result of reduction in VAT could only be reduced if the VAT reduction was on selective essential commodities. In a country like ours, we cannot afford to be reducing the cost of tobacco and beer. For goodness sake, I would like to propose to my colleagues, through you, that before they come up with a law, they must look at which commodities are essential for the Zambian people. Those are the ones they must reduce tax on. As regards alcohol, in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 I called upon the hon. Minister of Finance and National planning that, please, even as you raise duty, those who consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes let them pay for destroying themselves.

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: You cannot give them relief. Give relief to the children at school and mothers who are sick and not people who have extra money to burn. When they smoke a cigarette, you want the Government to subsidise them at the expense of the farmer you have taken away the Fertiliser Support Programme money from. That is not correct.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to ask the hon. Minister what I missed in his Budget Speech and is a matter that this House, the Opposition, last year 2006, as a matter of fact, amended in his law. We introduced the Carbon Tax and we said that every foreign vehicle that comes in Zambia must be charged tax because when Zambians travel to Zimbabwe, they pay Carbon Tax. Why is it that we are allowing all these foreign vehicles to come and emit carbon in Zambia, but do not earn anything from them?

Had the hon. Minister been serious and concerned about the plight of the Zambian people, he would have, by the end of 2007, probably, earned K10 billion, and that K10 billion would have gone to give relief to the tax payers of Zambia. Instead, he allows these foreigners to come and abuse our country and destroy our roads free of cost, and who instead is paying for the running of the Government? It is the poor Zambian farmer and mother who gives birth to a child outside a hospital because there are no clinics around.

Mr Speaker, I would like to propose to the hon. Minister that before he comes with a law, he must consider the law that this House passed on Carbon Tax. It is actually treacherous for this House to come up with a law which the Government fails to implement. We have said before that this House will be declared redundant if it passes laws which the Executive is not willing to enforce. We have a duty here and our duty is to make sure that the Government enforces the law that this House passes. If we come up with laws which they do not enforce, they are declaring this House redundant.

Mr Speaker, the other matter that I would like to talk about is …

Hon. Government Members: Talk about the NCC!

Mr Lubinda: I can see that their interest is in the NCC. I have bigger issues at hand than the NCC and I advise those who want go and earn roles at the NCC to do it.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about a matter that is much more important than the NCC and that is to deal with the Debt Management in Zambia. My colleagues in the Opposition referred to the unreliable figures being provided by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on external debt. What I would want to reflect upon is the reliability of this Government with regard to the Budget.

You might recall that in 2007, this House approved that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning must give out K129.3 billion in repayment to debt and yet what has he done? He has paid instead K244.8 billion. K115 billion extra to debt repayment, and yet debt repayment, as you know, is predetermined. How come he did not have the figures right in January, 2007 for him to come and spend an extra K115 billion to debt repayment?

Secondly, with regard to domestic debts, if you look at the figures in the Budget Speech, you will see that the hon. Minister is being totally inconsistent. In 2007, he said that the debt was K7.7 …

Hon. Government Members: Time up!

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Mr Speaker, in support of the Estimates of expenditure, as ably presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, I wish to inform the House, with gratitude for my ministry, to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for increasing the allocation of funds for infrastructure development, in particular airport infrastructure. We have Livingstone, Kasama and Solwezi airports. We have rail infrastructure development and meteorology infrastructure.

These funds shall enable us achieve more strides in infrastructure development in the area of transport, communication and meteorology as we move to attain the goals and objectives of the Government in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the Vision 2030.

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some of our achievements in 2007. Under airports, the air transport sub-sector continued to register positive growth at 35.5 per cent in 2007, compared to 6 per cent in 2006. This goal was mainly attributed to the rise in passenger traffic volumes at all airports as a result of increased economic activities.

Mr Speaker, passenger traffic grew by 19.3 per cent representing 1,053,307 in 2007 from 882,944 in 2006. This was attributed to an increase in mining activities as evidenced by the increase of 55 per cent in passenger traffic at the Ndola Airport.

Mr Speaker, in addition, the hosting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State Summit in August, 2007, contributed to the growth in passenger movement in Lusaka.

Sir, in the year 2007, the Government continued to undertake projects aimed at maintaining and developing aviation infrastructure to internationally accepted standards. In this regard, infrastructure works were undertaken at the Livingstone Airport where the extension of the airport runway was done from 2.3 km to 3 km, thus allowing for bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 767 300 to land.

Sir, there were also improvements to the air and ground handling, fire and rescue services, construction of the aircraft parking apron, the car park and the circulation road at a coast of about K66,861,670,958.00 with support from the European Union (EU).

Rehabilitation for Lusaka, Ndola and Mfuwe International Airports were also undertaken by the National Airports Corporation Limited at a cost of K87,880,098.90, K310,713,225 and K1,274,404,887.78 respectively.

Mr Speaker, additionally, rehabilitation of works of the transmitter building at the Kasama Airport were undertaken by the Government at a cost of K83,433,826.60. More funds have been allocated to the Kasama Airport and works will continue as soon as we approve this Budget. We want to promote tourism in the Northern Province as there is potential in that part of the country.

Mr Speaker, under railways, the issue of vandalism of rail infrastructure in our country leads to a drain of resources meant to construct and maintain existing infrastructure. For example, the Luanshya/Ndola rail line was vandalised by some people. Now that the mines in Luanshya have opened, the same people who vandalised this same line are now coming to tell this Government …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mubika: …to reconstruct the line.


Rev. Sampa-Bredt: Mention them!

Mr Mubika: I will not mention names.


Mr Mubika: We are now inviting these same people who vandalised the rail line to come and partner with the Government …


Mr Mubika: …so that - they are related – they can feel how expensive a railway line is and, maybe, in future, they will learn how to look after the railway infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, as for the people of the Eastern Province, the Chipata/Mchinji Rail Line works stopped about twenty-seven years ago. However, when we went on site to construct the rail line, nothing was missing and, therefore, the Government will continue to construct the Chipata/Mchinji Project. At the moment, about 15 kilometres of skeleton rail line has been laid ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: … out of which, about six kilometres have been ballasted. A total of K12,882,948,850 has been spent on the project to date. It was planned that the rail line would be completed by first quarter of 2008. However, with the heavy rains that the country has experienced, we shall re-assert the completion as soon as the rains stop. The other issue which contributed to the delay was the collapse of the two bridges on the Great East Road which disrupted the flow of delivery of concrete slippers to the project.

Mr Speaker, under road transport, as a result of transformation of the Road Traffic Commission to Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), and also the computerisation of the revenue collection function through the Zambia Traffic Management System (ZAMTIS), the following corrections have been made:

(i) In 2005, RTC collected K35.6 billion against a target of K44.7 billion. The revenue collections were below the Government’s expectations because of inadequate supervision and controls in some places.

(ii) In 2006, the RTC/RTSA collected K46.8 billion against a target of K50 billion. During the last quarter of 2006, the RTSA had new management in place following reforms in the road sector. The new management set a zero tolerance tone on misappropriation of the Government revenue and improved on controls. Revenues collected increased mainly during the last quarter of 2006 and variance with targets were narrowed down.

(iii) Mr Speaker, in 2007, RTSA collected K102.1 billion against an annual target of K57.8 billion representing a collection rate of 177 per cent. This, again, was due to focused supervision, computerisation and better controls implemented by the new management.

Sir, these new revenues were collected in 28 RTSA Offices spread across the country.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the Roll out plan for ZAMTIS, I wish to inform the House that whilst at the beginning of 2006 only six stations – Lumumba, Ridgeway, Dedan Kimathi, Kitwe, Mazabuka, Livingstone – operated ZAMTIS, as at 31st December, 2007, ZAMTIS had been rolled out to Ndola, Choma, Kabwe, Monze and Kariba.

Sir, work has reached an advanced stage in various other provincial headquarters where the system is currently being configured and is expected to roll out by the second quarter of 2008.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about telecommunications. Zambia’s mobile phone subscriber base expanded by 34.2 per cent. This represented an increase from 1,663,051 in 2006 to 2,231,283 in 2007. Accordingly, the national mobile tele-density rose to 18.9 per cent from 14 per cent in 2006. The increase was mainly attributed to the roll-out of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure by three mobile companies which are CELTEL, CELL-Z and MTN.

There was a total of 94,330 PSTN (fixed line) subscribers on the ZAMTEL system in 2007, as compared to 93,427 in 2006. As a Government, we want to see to it that about 90 per cent of our country is covered by 2010.

Mr Speaker, all these achievements were as a result of the good economic policies which the MMD Government put in place and implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi):  Mr Speaker, in the first place, I want to salute you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of this House.

Mr Speaker, I will begin by saying that last year’s theme was “From Stability to Improved Delivery Service.” This year’s theme goes as “Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation.”

Mr Speaker, having looked at last year’s budget theme, I would say it was almost hollow. I say so because very little was done with regard to service delivery. When you go to rural areas, you will notice that the roads from Luwingu to Chilubi are in a deplorable state. The roads from Kasama, Luwingu up to Mansa are in an extremely deplorable state. There is nothing to write home about.

Mrs Mwamba: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the responsibility of the Government is to care for its own citizens, but I wonder whether our Government is servicing its citizens. In this connection, it would be prudent for the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to remain mobile, just as he has been doing in the past, so that the roads in this country can be worked on.

Mr Speaker, let me now comment on the manufacturing industry. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning stated, in his speech, that there was an economic growth of about 3.4 per cent in the manufacturing industry. Of course, we can say development is moving in the right direction, but when you take into consideration the state of the manufacturing industry in this country, it is something worrying. I say so because some manufacturing industries, such as Mulungushi Textiles, are a sad development.

Mr Speaker, of late, Kabwe town has been turned into a ghost town. Many people have been laid off employment. This is not something we should boast about. Therefore, the Government should look at this issue closely and come up with a solution to alleviate the suffering of our people out there. We need to provide employment for our own people.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the life-expectancy of this country. When Zambia attained its independence in 1964, the life-expectancy of this country was at forty-two years. Today, it has drastically dropped to less than thirty-six years. Around the 1980s, life-expectancy for Zambian citizens was at fifty-four years. Why can we not improve on that so that, at least, it can, maybe, go slightly above fifty-six years?

Sir, we cannot expect the Zambian people to find means and ways of surviving the current poverty levels they are experiencing. It is the responsibility of our Government to assist our people. If it means providing funds, the Government should find means and ways of providing loans to our people who are suffering in the villages. People are dieing of hunger and that is why even the death rate has gone extremely high. Something needs to be done urgently because if our colleagues on your Right are boasting that they are a caring Government, then they are supposed to exhibit such things.

Mr Speaker, furthermore, I would like to talk about energy. Our colleagues in the energy sector are doing very little, especially, with regard to rural electrification. I say so because there have been a number of projects in this country which were initiated as early as 2006. To date, these projects have not been completed.

The best example I can give is that of the Santa Maria Rural Health Centre in Chilubi District. The Government has lamentably failed to provide this health centre with power and yet, there is only a distance of about 16 kilometres from Muchinshi Boma to Santa Maria Rural Health Centre. I have written many letters to them and even when I was District Administrator, I used to write to them, but the Government could not come to our aid. This has greatly contributed to the increase in deaths in Chilubi District because most of the time, we are forced to transfer patients from Chilubi to Lubwe Mission Hospital and, sometimes, Luwingu. When you look at the road network between Chilubi and Luwingu, it is impassable.

Now, if our colleagues are boasting that they are a caring Government, why do they not take the complaints that we give them and act positively? I am requesting the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to become action-oriented. We are not going to eat politics in this country. What we want are ministers who are hard working.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about my colleagues in the Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs together with the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development. To begin with, I would like to say that I am very much delighted with the performance of this committee. Your Committee have done a commendable job. I say so because there was a report which came out about the dilapidation of the Independence Stadium. These people presented a report, but when I visited the Independence Stadium, two weeks ago, I discovered that something positive was being done. This is what we want. This hon. Minister should keep on working hard. We want ministers who are hard working.

Hon. PF Members: It is Cifire!

Mr Chisala: Even if it is Cifire who has been pushing the hon. Minister, what I want is action.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chisala: To me, this is a job well done.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member, you will address the Chair and not address that side!


Mr Chisala: I am much obliged.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that this hardworking committee should continue working for the people of Zambia. We do not want this good work to just end in Lusaka. We would like this good work to be extended to places like Mufulira, Chingola, Kitwe and even in rural areas like Kasama, Mongu, Nyimba and Chipata because we want to improve soccer in this country.

Sir, with regard to the sports festivals that are to be held in every district, I would like to say that we are very much delighted to hear that the ministry is organising something in that regard. Nevertheless, it would be prudent for the ministry to give the responsibility of running these festivals to the district councils because the district councils act in a more impartial way than the District Commissioners.

Ms Kapata: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: I was once a District Commissioner and I am speaking from experience, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Most District Commissioners are inclined to the ruling party.

Ms Kapata: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Therefore, I am making a humble request that this task should be given to council secretaries who are going to work in a very impartial manner.

Sir, with regard to the health sector, last year, in this august House, the hon. Minister of Health stated that they were constructing district hospitals in Mumbwa, Chadiza and Samfya. I am happy that the Government indicated that these works would be completed this year.

However, it would be prudent for the Ministry of Health to extend a hand to the people of Chilubi District who have never had a district hospital since we got independence in 1964. You can imagine, Chilubi received its district status in 1979 but up to now, no district hospital has been constructed in that area.

Mr Speaker, last year, in this House, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning made a humble promise that he was going to allocate some money to Chilubi District for the construction of a district hospital, but, up to now, nothing has happened and I have been waiting. I therefore, urge the hon. Minister to do something for the people of Chilubi. It is only through this that you are going to be popular. Let me also remind you, hon. Ministers, that you need to be mobile.

Mr Speaker: Order! Address the Chair.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, these hon. Ministers need to be mobile because in the event of confining themselves to the offices, they are not going to know the problems which people are facing especially at this point when we have floods in some parts of the country.

Sir, I also want to talk about health posts. There were four health posts that were approved by the Ministry of Health that were supposed to be constructed in Chilubi. These were at Muonde, Kasansa, Mwanambulu and the other one at Mubili but up to now, nothing has been done. I, therefore, make a humble request to the hon. Minister responsible to see to it that something is done. This is for the benefit of everyone. When this is done, the Government is going to boast about it and the people out there are going to enjoy the services from the Government. 

Mr Speaker, on education, allow me to thank the hon. Minister of Education for a job well done. When I first came to this august House and presented my Maiden Speech, the first statement I made was about Chilubi Secondary School which was abandoned in 1990. I want to say that the hon. Minister of Education is a hard working hon. Minister…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: … because he responded to my call. If he has not been doing good things for other hon. Members of Parliament, then I am sorry about that. I see him as a hard working hon. Minister because he responded positively to my problems. Hon. Minister, you should keep it up.


Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, however, I still want to mention that I have dilapidated schools such as Kashitu Middle Basic School, Mwanambulu Middle Basic School,  Mutimba Middle Basic School and Fule Middle Basic School which need to be renovated. I therefore, make a humble request that I need financial assistance from the hon. Minister of Education.


Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, allow me also to thank the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Sir, I say so simply because when I came to this august House, I did highlight that Chilubi District had been facing an extremely high crime rate. I made a humble request to the Inspector-General of Police and he responded positively. As I am speaking, today, Chilubi District which had only five policemen, now has eleven policemen. This is a job well done.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Nevertheless, I still need about five more policemen.


Mr Chisala: Hon. Minister, on top of that, I need a boat for transport in order to fight this crime nicely. 

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about tourism. In the tourism sector, we have a problem because of what we have come to witness of late. This is the fact that our chiefs are being mistreated in certain circumstances. The best example is that of a sub-chief in my own constituency.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, before we went for break, I was emphasising the point that the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources is doing very little to protect our chiefs. My earnest request to the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources is that since there are certain national parks which no longer have animals and forests which no longer have trees, he should immediately think of de-gazetting such land so that our people can find land to settle on.

Mr Speaker, I want to emphasise the point that the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources should think about planting more trees because trees in any given country are very important. Without trees we cannot have buildings, medicine, books and papers. Therefore, the hon. Minister should think of planting trees particularly, in Chilubi Island. I am looking forward to seeing the hon. Minister extend a hand to the people of Chilubi financially.

Sir, let me now talk about mining. In this august House, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia indicated that tax should go up in the mining companies. It is extremely embarrassing to find some companies who are refusing to pay tax. Why should they not pay tax? We should not blame ourselves or stand aside in this situation. We need to remain firm as members of this nation, particularly, as hon. Members of Parliament. Even when this Bill is brought before this august House, we should not give a damn because enough is enough.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I now want to support Hon. Magande who said there would be no negotiations over this one.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, if these company owners are not ready, they should leave our copper and go back to their own countries.
Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Bwekeshapo!

 Mr Chisala: Sir, it is not good for people to take us for granted. We have suffered for too long. Our schools and roads cannot be constructed simply because some people out there are filling their pockets with a lot of money and we are in total poverty.  We are not going to accept to this.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I am extremely delighted to discover that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing this year intends to increase the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This is also a good job. However, CDF should be at least between K600 million and K1 billion…


Mr Chisala:…because this is the money which is helping us to develop our constituencies.

Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about transport. Transport, particularly water transport, plays an instrumental role in the development of any given nation. I happen to come from a constituency where three quarters of the area is surrounded by water. In this vein, I would like to make a humble request to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to see to it that he allocates more money to the Maritime Department because the K600 million he has allocated is nothing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: I say so because it is out of that same money that we shall be required to clear the canals, purchase the boats and pay the workers.

Mr Speaker, it is a humble request. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should look at this. We need at least K3 billion so that we can buy the dredging machines and boats for the people of the Bangweulu Region. Bangweulu Region is a vast area because it has got six parliamentary constituencies and in the event of not availing us this money, nothing will be done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion which was so ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Ng’andu Magande.

Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Members of this House who have risen to debate in favour of this Motion, and also those who have their reservations concerning this Motion.

Mr Speaker, the bottom line of the Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is our net position. The Budget shows the resources which we have got, as a Government, and is an indication of a request on how it should be applied. One thing about budgeting is, for example, if I was to pass a piece of paper around this House and ask how each hon. Member would budget for K13 trillion, I would have 150 different responses. This is because each one of us has got a different approach and biases. Thus, when we hear most of the hon. Members talking about their constituencies and the deficiencies in this and that, to me and our ministry, it shows that the demand is very big on the resources of our country. However, if the demand is big, what is the problem?

A lot of people have been very kind to put the blame on the Government. Well, the Government collects and disburses on behalf of the people. Even children in a home, when they want more in the house, they blame the father. However, responsible children would understand a situation. This is why I would like to appeal to this august House that even as we look at the Budget, let us also be responsible.

Mr Speaker, at independence, the GDP per capita was US$600 and investment per capita over US$300. Today, GDP per capita is less than US$ 300 and investment per capita is about US$60. What has gone wrong?

Mr Speaker, our population is growing and as it grows, so do our needs. However, have we matched population growth with economic growth? Have we matched the need for the demand brought out by the increased population with the resources of the nation? The question should not only be on the Government of this day. We should also take into consideration how the previous Governments performed to a certain extent, and we can say that we have reached somewhere today.

Mr Speaker, you will be happy to note that …

Mr Shakafuswa dropped a piece paper.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Get organised mwana.

Mr Shakafuswa: …as of 1998, the GDP growth rate in this country was at negative 1.9 per cent. This means that there was no addition to the productivity of this country. As a result, you could never have additional resources to add to the resources of the country. Today, we are saying the GDP growth rate is 5.7 or 6 per cent, the inflation rate has come to a single digit, the exchange rate has stabilised and the macroeconomic parameters have stabilised. No, it will have no trickle down effect on the nation, but it will have a trickle down effect on those areas which have recorded growth.

Mr Speaker, in areas like construction which have recorded a positive growth, you will find a trickle-down effect because more people who are involved in the construction industry would have made more money and employed more people. Therefore, you would find that in construction, more people would be there.

Mr Speaker, we have recorded growth in service. Now, overall at 6 per cent, it is very limited and it would be wrong for anyone to stand here and say we are there. We are not there yet, but we are saying that the foundation has been laid.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the foundation has been laid and we need the responsibility to start with us. We need to understand the situation. There are so called doctors but they do not understand that what they stand for is to make sure that things are reversed. Nevertheless, we are forward looking.

Mr Speaker, what we need in Zambia is to increase our productive base. Last year, the gross product of Zambia was K 51.6 billion. At this amount, we are cheating ourselves, especially, with the floods which have come, thanks to the good hand of God, who is giving us more rain. Although people are complaining, we can also find some positiveness in this. That water is draining in a certain direction. You can block that water and plan to use it for the next four years. You can do that. You can do something positive with these floods.  Instead of letting the water flow to the Indian Ocean, let us start making canals and blocking it so that for the next five months, we can still have and be able to use it. Positive thinking Zambians will think positively. A lot of people here and out here sit and do not want to be positive about what is happening. The floods are here but there is a positive way in which we can look at them.

Mr Speaker, the problem is that with the floods, our roads have gone. There are people who are crying but there is no way you are going to work on a road with the rains still there. You will waste money and come back to cry for the same road to be worked on again. People want to politicise the issue of floods. It is not the Government that has brought the floods. Let us say the nation is mourning and everyone has to mourn with the nation. Only those that irresponsible and bent on bringing this country backwards will cherish the issue of floods. It is the hand of God and he should give us more rains so that if we use the ability he has given us of thinking, looking and being positive, we can move forward.

Mr Speaker, with K51.6 trillion of productivity, this country with a population growth which is rising so high, people have to be bold. This population growth is because we are not checking the rate at which we are producing children.

Mr Speaker, here is a parent with no job, but with ten children. Thereafter, we want to say that we are poor. No! Some people are just irresponsible. I want to be on record over this issue.  Some people are just not responsible.

Mr Speaker, there are countries which were backwards at independence. We were better off than the countries in the eastern region like Singapore and Malaysia, but they introduced policies which have driven them whereby they brought control on their people, not the kind of politics which we have where, when the Government wants to put in control measures, people try to become popular because they want to lose those controls. That is politics that brings the country backwards.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, what we need is to ask ourselves that how to ensure that there is more productivity so that more people are employed, come out of poverty and so that the Government can have more resources at its hands to be able to service the people of Zambia. That is a question we should be asking ourselves.

Mr Speaker, today, we, on this side of the House, have something very positive to offer to this nation which, for those who love this country and have a heart for this country, would say let us do more and they will even ask us to work together with them and do more for this country.

Mr Speaker, Therefore, what we need now is to work together. A situation where people are lamenting that because we have reduced VAT, it will become cheaper for a person who drinks more beer, will not help us. This simply means that when I increase, I will still be drinking eight bottles of beer a day and the one who will suffer are the people at home because I will not be taking more money home. Therefore, when we look at the concerns which are brought to us with people who are concerned, we will definitely take these figures on board.

Mr Speaker, I also want to bring it to your attention that as the Ministry Finance and National Planning, we did an advertisement for about a month in the National papers for people to come up with tax and non-tax proposals for the 2008 Budget. Most of these geniuses, who are talking today, did not think it was worth it for them to come, but instead, they want to talk when the Budget has come out.

Mr Speaker, let me say that of those who responded, only eleven associations, sixteen companies, eight Government institutions, only one church organisation - and I want to thank Northmead Assemblies of God, the only Church organisation which added a spiritual guidance on the whole thing - and only six individuals responded. The so-called experts could not talk because they know that they only talk, but when it is engagement, they cannot talk. Today, there are people and some Church organisations that are coming with very cleverly researched papers, but with no direction.

Sir, we are saying that this Budget is pro-poor although only up to K600,000 has been allowed as tax-free. The money which is picked is spent on the poor. When the money is picked and spent on the education of the poor child who is in Government school and a teacher in a Government school, this is money which is being put in the pocket of that poor person. When we go to the hospital and pay for a doctor, go on the road which is funded by the Government, it is money which is coming out of Government coffers and this money is going towards the poor person instead of you taking away that money.

Therefore, when you people stand politically and say he is not so poor, the poor needs money - when you talk about the poor - you should ask yourselves how many are there and how many are captured by the Budget in terms of taxation, those who are below K600,000. How many are they? Do not talk from without.

Sir, when you look at the figures, very few are captured. The income which is coming is coming from some people who are even self employed. We are getting this money and now people are saying K600,000 is nothing. The problem on your Left is that they are not saying where we should go and get extra income. They are lamenting and crying, but where do we go and get extra income because at K600,000 what we are getting is a loss of K64 billion and, if we allowed K700,000, the loss will be K147 billion.

Sir for those who are mathematicians - you cannot be a mathematician - you do not know which statistics you are using. It will be easier for you to come to the Ministry for Finance and National Planning and ask us how we have calculated this. That is why I give respect to mathematicians like Hon. Mukanga. He is a mathematician who understands mathematics. He is not like some mathematicians or some people who will just talk. This is the mathematics which we have to learn. He comes to the ministry and even suggests a formula which will make calculations even better.

Why do you come here and mislead people? The calculations like the ones Hon. Lubinda has given are very misleading and this simply shows that his analysis is based on a defective instrument of analysis, as Hon. Mpombo would put it.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the best thing for him to do is to come and ask us instead of him coming here and trying to be clever when the statistics he is giving are not clever. What we are using are national statistics and national models which we will give and show him how we are calculating. For example, if we say that people earning up to K800,000 should not pay tax, the loss will be K224 billion.

Sir, we need to build schools and clinics. People out there need more services. If we were to allow this, where do get the money from? This is the question we should be asking ourselves. The biggest thing we have got is to just increase productivity.

Sir, if our Gross Domestic Product can be increased ten times or hundred times with the help of our brains which talk too much on your left, we will move this country forward.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: We will be able to work on all the roads.

You are talking about Chibombo having many schools. By the time I became Member of Parliament, Chibombo had only basic school for a population of 100,000. Katuba stretches from Mumbwa District to the rail line, but it had no basic school. It had only primary schools and if you looked at the level of education, it was pupils, especially girls, up to Grade 4. Then, someone stands up here, just because some of us come from Chibombo and the President comes from Chibombo, and says that he is doing it deliberately. It is not true, but the need is there.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: We should also look at the nation as a whole. Do not come here, stand and think that we do not deserve anything. In Katuba, we have people who are drinking water from the effluent of the Chunga Stream to date. When I go to the Ministry Local Government and Housing and the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, they tell me that Jonas, look at the resources that we have got. I have to hold my patience just like anybody else. I am not getting advantage and I am not going to get any advantage.

Therefore, the thing, especially for responsible people, is to stop cheating. You cannot increase productivity in ninety days to K510 trillion. You cannot do that. What magic are you going to use? Therefore, let us base our politics on truth and people are going to respect us.

If you go in deeply tomorrow, you will find a revolution against you because you will not be able to stand against your cheap politicking where you tell your people that you have magic to turn things around. You should tell people to change their way of life, work hard and then, the nation will move forward and everyone else will move forward. As long as you want laziness to continue in this nation, we will get nowhere. As long as you want unlawful behaviour to take root in this country, we will get nowhere. What we need to do is look for more resources. People are saying how do we got there and invest? Zambians are investment shy. When you have extra money, you want to buy extra cars, and extra homes instead of putting that money into productive use. Only if you do that, will you stop talking about foreign investment.

Mr Speaker, foreign investments are coming in because you are not investing as Zambians. When foreign investors come in, invest and give you more jobs, you start complaining. Why did you not invest and create more jobs? Instead, you want to see the mistakes. No! If you want to have something to say, you should be the one who is supposed to lead the investment like your friends in Uganda are doing. The Ugandans, themselves, will be walking, but he has got a hotel. You want to drive a very expensive car and live in poverty. It will never show, but Zambia is being shown as a high consumptive nation. We need more investment to move this country forward. Therefore, the responsibility is on the Zambians in this country to move this country forwards.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Floor. Sir, I wish to start by congratulating the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Magande, for a good Budget which is positive and has been well received by all progressive Zambians.

Sir, it is very clear from the Budget Speech that the performance of the New Deal Government under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa has been very impressive and commendable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Under the New Deal Government, many factories, industries and mines which closed and some which were about to close have been revived. Most of the run-down infrastructure has been rehabilitated and the economy which was recording negative growth a few years ago has now hit 6.2 per cent growth rate. For the first time in decades, inflation has been brought down to a single digit and the Kwacha has stabilised against major foreign currencies. What else do we need to show that the New Deal Government has performed very well?

The change is noticeable even by the children. Sometimes, when I drive to some of the old towns, my children even remark, “Oh daddy, this shop which was closed is now open. The road which was bad is now good.”

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Where?

Ms Mumbi: Where?

Mr Mukuma: They have seen the change in the economy. What else can one do to show that we are performing?

This remarkable economic growth has not come about by chance, but as a result of good economic policies, good governance and prudent management of national resources by the New Deal Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mubika: Aah! You are Zambian!

Mr Mukuma: Sir, one of the Members on your left, in his contribution to the debate, stated that the growth in the economy of Zambia is not due to Government performance, but the boom in China and India.

In trade, there is always a producer and a consumer. At the moment, Zambia is a producer of copper while China and other developed countries are consumers. Copper, which is underground, is valueless unless it is mined and sold. In this regard, the New Deal Government deserves to be commended for putting in place good economic policies which have attracted investors to come to Zambia to exploit our copper which is fetching high prices on the world market to benefit Zambians. So, whichever way one looks at it, the New Deal Government still deserves to be commended.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, besides, it is not only the mining industry that has improved, but other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, the construction industry and the tourism industry have grown significantly and contributed to the change in our economy. So, it is not correct to state that the Government has contributed little to the current economic change in Zambia.

Sir, our friends in the Opposition have got a practice of criticising even when they can see with their own eyes and even enjoy the benefits of the New Deal Government programmes. In my opinion, the Zambian people are more responsible for the poverty Zambia is facing today when the economy is growing. This is because forty-four years after independence, we have not learnt to convert the abundant natural resources and vast opportunities that we have to create wealth for ourselves and remove poverty from our homes. We have a tendency to wait for the Government to do something for us or foreigners to come and exploit the resources and employ us as workers. This attitude by the Zambians is the greatest hindrance to the eradication of poverty at household level. The Government on its part provides proper climate for our development but the response from the Zambians is often negative.

Mr Speaker, to illustrate my point that the Zambians are often negative to development, I wish to refer to the liberalisation of crop marketing in Zambia. When the Zambian economy was declared liberalised and that the private sector would be the engine to drive the economy of this country, the marketing sector of agriculture was liberalised. The Government established a revolving fund to allow Zambians to engage in crop marketing. This followed the scrapping of NAMBOARD and the idea was for the Zambians to take over the responsibility of crop marketing and Government to limit its function to maintaining strategic food reserves through Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Sir, the response from Zambians was overwhelming that a good number of them including some Members of Parliament at the time, got money from Government with the intention of starting the marketing agencies. What has happened is that this programme, progressive as it was, was eventually killed by us Zambians. It was a total failure because of the attitude we, Zambians, have towards development.

Sir, the business of marketing the crop, I think is one of the easiest businesses that Zambians could take up because it is a question of buying and selling what others have produced. Funds were made available but even with that amount of assistance from the Government, we, as Zambians, totally failed. And, indeed, many Government development programmes are being frustrated in this fashion. What happens? We heap the blame on the Government. We would shift our own failures onto the Government. This is what is happening in Zambia today.

Mr Speaker, at this point, let me share one story with my fellow Members of Parliament which my former lecturer told us, when we were graduating some years back in India.

Mr Speaker: Order! No story telling is allowed in the House.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will speak to the facts.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the way I have presented it, may be for lack of proper English words, but it is an illustration of how the mental attitude of the nation can contribute to the development of a nation. The teacher was actually teaching us that, as you graduate and you are going into the world, you will experience difficulties of frustrations because as you make plans you may have resources available, but still development cannot come in your country. One important thing he said was that if the people you were planning for were not ready to develop themselves, no matter how good the plans were and no matter how plenty the resources were, development would not come about.

Mr Speaker, this is exactly what is happening in Zambia today. Our friends recognised this problem many years ago and now we are being told that India is developing fast. It has taken them so many years to change the mind set of the nation, for the development to start. I fear, Mr Speaker, when we talk of development here, we are only saying development, development, development. We do not seem to attach the seriousness to the development that we want in the country.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I have no doubt in my mind that by shouting for development or having good plans or, indeed, sufficient resources or even criticising the Government several times, we will not produce the development required to rescue our people from poverty. Zambia requires people who are well focussed and committed in order to create wealth that can be shared by all.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I wish to comment on one programme in the Budget that has been introduced this year and that is the Citizens’ Empowerment Programme. As Minister of Labour and Social Security, this is an important programme to me because it gives opportunity to Zambians to fully participate in the economic process of this country. It provides an opportunity for job creation and, indeed, wealth creation.

There is a link, Mr Speaker, between poverty and employment. The creation or the establishment of this programme will certainly empower our people and, indeed, benefit the vulnerable and marginalised groups on the society. According to the Act, Zambians will be assisted to expand their business, to start businesses, and indeed, be given best knowledge of business management. This will help them to expand their businesses and create new businesses.

For an informal sector, this is a blessing to Zambians, Mr Speaker, because according to the 2005 Survey, a large number of our labour force is in the informal sector. Therefore, if the informal sector can improve their businesses, we have many of our workers who will have greater access to decent work, and by so doing, the nation will be achieving the first Millennium development Goal of poverty reduction.

However, for this to succeed, Mr Speaker, we need the support of all the Zambians. All well-meaning Zambians need to join hands through the Government, to ensure that this programme succeeds because of the benefits that we are bound to get from this project.

Mr Speaker, I wish to appeal to my colleagues in the House that, as Members of Parliament, we join the Government in sensitising the people to change their attitude towards development. Let us do everything possible that will change the attitude of people to develop. Let us not be leaders in criticising, but the leaders that can build capacity to be able to develop our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, my ministry is soliciting support from all well-meaning Zambians …

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I am listening very carefully and the hon. Minister is within the bounds of good debate.

May you continue, please.

Mr Mukuma: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My ministry is soliciting support from all well-meaning Zambians in this important sensitisation campaign and, starting from this year, we shall conduct sensitisation campaigns among the workers and employers to change their attitude. As Members of Parliament, our starting points are our own constituencies. Let us encourage and motivate people in our constituencies to engage in productive programmes that will improve household incomes. Let us leave a legacy of building capacity to produce and not heaping a lot of criticism on the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Thank you, Mr Speaker. The bible says one will be judged by the way they treat the …

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! As I say, I have been listening attentively and I have not heard any hon. Member who has broken the rules of good debate, but let us hear why the hon. Member for Luapula is insisting.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, this is a point of order of national importance and is very urgent. I want to quote from page 1 of yesterday’s Times of Zambia Newspaper, and the story reads as follows:

“Meanwhile, two women in their early 20’s were on Saturday afternoon left totally naked after call boys stripped them off their clothes for alleged indecent dressing.

The incident which happened at Lusaka’s Kulima Tower Bus station around 17:30 hours attracted a lot of people who thronged the station premises.

One of the unidentified victims was dressed in a mini-skirt, which sparked the pandemonium as call boys thought it was too short and descended upon her before doing so on the other one who wore a pair of trousers.

An eyewitness told the Times in Lusaka yesterday that business at the station came to a standstill as the call boys besieged the young women demanding to have a glimpse of their nudity.

Francis Mulenda, a small time freelance photographer said all the clothes, including the underwear which the two women wore, were torn by the unruly boys who showered invectives on them.”

Sir, this is extremely serious. Is the Government, both the hon. Minister for Gender and Women in Development, who is supposed to advance the cause of women, and, particularly, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, in order not to say something about this and how they are going to address this issue so that it does not send a wrong message in the country?

Sir, I am aware that at Kulima Tower Bus Station, there is a police post within the station. Now, is the Government in order to allow this kind of ‘thuggery’ to continue? The hon. Ministers’ silence on this would send a signal to the people out there that they can get away with it. Is the Government in order to remain quiet as women are molested, embarrassed, humiliated and traumatised in this manner without coming in to show what strong measures it is going to take to ensure that harmony, in fact, law and order, prevail in  the country? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Speaker: The point of order that has been raised by the hon. Member for Luapula does, indeed, cause one to be sympathetic to what has happened. Regrettably, this does not consist of a proper point of order so far as this House is concerned. I refer all of you to the ruling that was made available to you, I believe, earlier in the year or late last year as to what constitutes a point of order. In this is particular case, the hon. Member for Luapula refers to the presence of a police post near the place where the event took place. That, indeed, is a police matter.

Even if the Chair were to ask the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to come with a ministerial statement, I doubt whether that would assist. The damage has already been done. He cannot retrospectively de-expose young people who were embarrassed in public. It is a police matter and those young people are free or, maybe, they have already done so, to report this matter to the police for action. I can rule here that those call boys should be dealt with, but it will amount to nothing. Only the police can deal with them.

The hon. Member for Livingstone may continue.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, it is stated that we will be judged by the way that we treat the aged, widows, orphans, the infirm and disadvantaged. Let us, therefore, judge the Budget Speech and presentation by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning by the way that he proposes to treat these disadvantaged groups. This Budget is like all previous MMD Budgets. It has received some praises and raised many hopes. It is rich in promises, but poor in delivery. It is a “business as usual” budget. People are still suffering and will continue to suffer. We have not moved. Has the hon. Minister managed, in his Budget Address, to think outside the box? I think not. What new economic ideas or thoughts has the hon. Minister espoused? This is the challenge that Hon. Ernest Mwansa put forward when he said that we should be discussing economic ideas rather than narrow issues.

All that the hon. Minister basically states in his Budget is that we have great macroeconomic indicators. It is very much like what India has. I will read from The Times of India Newspaper an article called “India still not ‘shining’: Rights Activist”. I will just read a small potion of it, and I quote:

“Samuel, a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the Sussex University said, ‘unless the country addressed this paradox of tremendous growth with unprecedented inequality, the promises in the Indian Constitution about provision of basic human rights could not be realised.’”

It is much like the Budget that we are being told about; about this unprecedented growth that we have had but yet, we still see that the human rights of Zambian people with regard to access to water, and here I am not talking about the access you are seeing in Kanyama, but about portable water, education, shelter, health and, also, access to security as has been pointed out by the recent point of order which was raised.

Mr Speaker, I believe that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning would have, after my debate on the Presidential Address to Parliament, written the final chapter to the “Tale of two nations”. Alas, his Budget Speech leaves things as they are. I share the hon. Member for Kanchibiya’s concern for the forgotten poor. The saga of the two nations continues. There was a question as to who constitutes the poor in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, there are 400,000 households with 2 million people who are classified as being in moderate food poverty. There is a further 600,000 households representing approximately 3 million people who are said to be in critical poverty. Out of these 1 million households, 200,000 of these households are classified as incapacitated or non-viable poor households.

These are the forgotten 10 per cent of our population. Interventions regularly, specifically exclude this forgotten group of Zambians. An example is that of the Fertiliser Support Programme. It very deliberately states that it is for the vulnerable but viable, thereby leaving out this bottom 10 per cent because they are non - viable.

These households are non-viable because poverty amongst them is structural. There are generation gap families where you have, for example, grand parents and, in some cases, great grand parents looking after their grand children or great grand children and no other generations in between. You have working age people who are terminally ill and, therefore, unable to look after themselves. You also have the high dependency ratio of families which have an undue number of those who are either terminally ill or incapacitated in one way or another.

I am glad that the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning has admitted that there will not be a trickle down of benefits from these positive economic indicators. This is in sharp contrast to what his hon. Minister stated, who kept on telling us that there will be a benefit from the trickle down effect. This trickle down theory is the biggest myth which is peddled by those who want to exclude the forgotten vulnerable in the nation.

Mr Speaker, this myth is like opium to the vulnerable meant to numb them into an almost void-like trance where they do not recognise the injustice around them. That this is a myth borne out by Bill Gates who was speaking a little over two weeks ago when he stated about the world economy and the trickle down effect as follows:

“The world is getting better, but it is not getting better fast enough and it is not getting better for everyone. The great advances in the world have often aggravated the inequities in the world. The least needy see the most improvement and the most needy see the least, in particular, the billion people who live on less than a dollar a day. There are roughly a billion people in the world who do not get enough food, free drinking water and electricity, the things we take for granted. Diseases like malaria that kill over a million people a year, get far less attention than drugs to help with boldness. Not only do these people miss the benefits of the global economy, they will suffer from the negative effects of economic growth they missed out on. Climate change will have the biggest effect on people who have done the least to cause it. Why do people benefit in inverse proportion to their needs? Market incentives make that happen. In a system of pure capitalism as people’s roles rises, the financial incentives to serve them rises as their wealth flow fails, the financial incentive to serve them falls until it becomes zero. We have to find a way to make the aspect of capitalism that serves wealthier people serve poor people as well”.

Mr Speaker, this is what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning failed to capture. How are we, in our Budget, helping to serve the neediest, making sure that they are not left to the market forces?

The forgotten 10 per cent can be catered for by expanding a pilot programme that this Government embarked on, which is called the Cash Transfer Scheme. This pilot programme has been carried out in Kalomo and Katete. It has been said, by the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, to be very viable and a great success. She stated in this House that the cost to make it universal, and not a pilot programme, would only be K132 billion. This would represent only 0.36 per cent of our nominal Gross Domestic Product. This would represent a mere 1.3 per cent of the total GRZ Budget and no more than 3 per cent of total Government spending. Yet, I believe, the plans of this Government are to provide for merely about 10 per cent of what is required - a mere K1.5 billion instead of K132 billion.

This is sad when you think that this is the same Government which allowed K900 billion at the end of 2007 …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: …to go back to the Treasury unused when we have these people who are suffering and dying day and night because they have been forgotten by this Government. If there was a political will, that K132 billion could be found, would be found and applied for these needy people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, this Government, two weeks ago, on the Floor of this House, stated that they had no plans to introduce a pension scheme for the aged, showing that they have got no desire or will to look after the aged in our society.

Neighbouring countries such as Namibia and South Africa have specific pension schemes for the aged and it has shown that it has been a great social stabiliser that has saved many lives.

The people that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is consistently and deliberately leaving in the forgotten nation are the aged, widows, orphans, the insane and disadvantaged.

Mr Speaker, when one looks at these forgotten groups, one is left wondering whether this Government has any feeling at all for them. To rely on market forces cannot work because as Bill Gates stated, “Sometimes market forces fail to make an impact in developing countries not because there is no demand or because money is lacking, but because we do not spend enough time studying the needs and limits of that market”.

In the Budget Speech, there was no analysis about this market. It was plainly restating time worn ideas about market forces, macro-economic indicators and the trickle down, things that we have seen have not worked in our jurisdictions. No great thought was put into that document. It was merely a regurgitation of what is in the text books.

Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that one of the foreign envoys to this country praised the Budget and stated that what all Zambians should do, is to be patient and wait. Eventually, they would get the benefits of this.

Mr Kasongo: And that was a World Bank Representative.

Mr Sikota: Now, there is a saying that ‘heaven can wait.’ The reason there is that saying is that in heaven, you have eternity, time is on your side, but if you are one of those forgotten 10 per cent of our population, you cannot wait. Every single day is a struggle for survival and a day your life may come to an end simply because you cannot eat. So, telling such a person to wait and be patient is not something that should be condoned.

Mr Kasongo: It is an insult.

Mr Sikota: It is not something that should be condoned and is a total insult to the people of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: In places like America where the envoy came from, they do not wait. They have welfare checks and food stamps. So, why should the same envoy tell our people to wait when their people do not wait, they get welfare checks and food stamps?

I was also surprised to hear the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning state that in Zambia, in the urban areas, poverty has gone down. I do not know which parts of the urban areas the hon. Minister visits. The places I go to show that poverty has increased. In fact, a recent Central Statistics Office (CSO) Report, an official Government document, which was released not more than two weeks ago, stated that the number of Zambians in the urban areas using begging as a copping mechanism has increased. How, then, can he say that the poverty has gone down?

Mr Speaker, there is a change in the profile of beggars in Zambia. I remember in the 1970s when there was just a lone beggar whom you knew was either at the corner of the Zambia Consumer Buying Corporation (ZCBC) or at OK Bazaar and you knew the lone beggar who was there.

 In the 1980s, the lone beggar was joined by a few mad men and women in the begging. In the 1990s, that lone beggar and the few mad men and women were joined by the street kids. That was in the 1990s.

Today, in the new millennium of the New Deal Government, we have the lone beggar, few mad men and women and street kids joined by what the CSO described as “gentlemen in suits” who are also begging. That is the change in the profile of the Zambian beggar over the years.

Mr Speaker, is that something we should be proud of? In fact, it should be something we should be ashamed of. There are dangers if we do nothing for the poorest. I will quote, again, from the article in the Times of India when it talks about not looking at these people.

“When only a minute section of the society gets benefit from the neo-liberal globalisation and a large majority are pushing to further deprivation, perpetuating inequality and such inequalities also connected to identities of the excluded, it becomes a breeding ground for conflict, violence, and armed insurgency.”

This is a warning Samuel gave.

“Today, more than ever, there is a greater challenge of human rights activists to work towards economic, social and ecological justice. Human rights should be a means for a new transformative politics and ethics, where the poor and excluded can claim their human rights and economic capabilities.”

“It was a myth” Samuel observed “that economic globalisation is an inevitable roller coaster ride to prosperity, but another world is, indeed, possible. A world truly committed to human rights and social justice, a world without poverty and discrimination.”

Mr Speaker, this can only happen if those charged with making our budgets are aware of this and if they are able to analyse these factors in presenting their budgets and state how they propose to ensure that we do not fall into those groups.

Mr Speaker, how then, do we judge the Budget? The Budget does nothing for the aged, widows, orphans, infirm and disadvantaged. It is a rich man’s Budget.

Mr Speaker, unlike Bill Gates at Dabos, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning did not have the depth of analysis to look at how to help the poor. Therefore, the poor in Zambia will get poorer and the rich richer.

Sir, allow me to plagiarise as I end, from the debate by the hon. Member for Mapatizya, who, in closing, stated in his usual forceful manner that “do not come back.” I will be milder than him and say that if you do nothing for the aged, the widows, infirm and the disadvantaged, you certainly will not come back.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: I thank you, Mr Speaker,

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Livingstone said he was quoting from an article in the Times of India. May he lay the Newspaper on the Table of the House. However, if it is a cutting, we do not need it.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, it is an electronic copy of the Times of India.

Mr Speaker: It is welcome.

Mr Sikota laid the paper on the Table.{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Chinyanta): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, a lot of debate has already taken place on this Motion and I thank you that I should add one or two issues from my ministry.

Sir, going through the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, it is clear that our hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the Government are on top of issues that affect the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Not only the poor and the aged.

Mr Chinyanta: Mr Speaker, why do I say so? The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has outlined clearly the vision for this Government. He has clearly outlined where we have come from, where we are and where we are going. A lot of Zambians have given their comments. Hon. Members from this House have also given their comments.

Mr Speaker, it is very true that as Zambians who have lived in this country, we know what has been happening in this country and we know what our people have been going through. We know what our economy has been going through in this country. Therefore, as we debate this Motion, we should not speak as if we have just come into this country.

Mr Speaker, the Government is alive to the problem of poverty in this country. It has also put in measures to address it. The Government, through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, has endeavoured to assist vulnerable women through out this country by providing them with grants …

Lieutenant –General Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Mr Chinyanta: … that will enable them to engage in entrepreneurship and other income-generating activities. A total of 162 women groups were provided with grants totaling to K334, 400.

Mr Speaker, all these are efforts to ensure that our people receive help that will make them change their economic and social status in this country. It is pleasing and encouraging to see how the women are engaging themselves in successful businesses out there in the rural areas ...

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chinyanta: … which are helping them to improve their financial and social status.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chinyanta: Most of our rural women are engaged in vegetable gardening and cattle rearing. Some of them are looking after goats, pigs and chickens in order to improve their families’ livelihoods.

Mr Speaker, vulnerable women here in the peri-urban and urban areas are engaged in managing macro business ventures through marketing, handcrafts and textile.

Mr Speaker, some of them are engaged in successful community banks. It is very encouraging when you find these women helping themselves within the community trying to give themselves small loans to empower each other.

This is how this Government is trying to help the vulnerable people in the communities out there. It is only people who are, maybe, lazy who are failing to recognise the programmes that this Government has put forward to mitigate the problems which our people are facing in communities.

Mr Speaker, as a ministry and Government, we have facilitated exchange programmes for our women groups, both locally and internationally. Last year, we also provided a total of K210 million to help our women through mission institutions that provide home craft centres countrywide. Over 780 vulnerable women have benefited through acquisition of skills provided by these centres through partnership with Government and the churches. All these are efforts which the Government is trying to make to ensure that the 10 per cent vulnerable people will be able to find, in one way or another, income generating activities that we help them.

Mr Speaker, when I look at this Budget, the macroeconomic parameters are realistic and achievable, given the prevailing trends in the economy. Our hope is that there are will be no external shocks on the world economy that will affect the targets which the hon. Minister is trying to achieve through this budget. These are issues like the floods and other things that would affect our economy for which we have no power over. Those are the things which may derail this Budget and may make it to fail to address the target people in society.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to note that the Government has dismantled local debt by paying arrears owed to the pensioners and retirees. This will definitely help them to improve their lives. We, in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, see this as an opportunity for our people to invest in small businesses that will create jobs for the people and the vulnerable within the society.

Sir, may I now talk about another area under my ministry’s portfolio, which is culture. Culture is defined as the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or a group. It includes not only the art and the letters, but also the mode of life, the fundamental rights of a human beings, value systems, our traditions and beliefs. Culture is what makes us, as Zambians, to be what we are. The kinds of food that we eat, our beautiful languages and the way we dress are what make us Zambians.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of this important role that culture plays in safeguarding our cultural heritage and its potential to create employment and wealth through creative arts and cultural industries.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Mr Chinyanta: My ministry received support from the 2007 Budget for elaboration of the National Cultural Policy which is expected to conform to the current thinking of developing creative arts and cultural industries for employment and wealthy creation.

In terms of cultural registration, the ministry revised both the National Arts Council and the Witch Craft Act to be able to strengthen the regulation of intangible cultural heritage and the development music theatres, film, handcrafts and other cultural industries.

The ministry will take advantage of the zero tax on music equipment to encourage record producers and other cultural entrepreneurs to import musical instruments and recording equipment to support the music industry in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that the zero tax on imported musical instruments will encourage businessmen and women to import musical recording equipment cheaply..

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Mr Chinyanta: …thereby boosting the business of producing and marketing of CDs, tapes as well as a collection of revenue by the Government through tax on sales of music, CDs and tapes.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to challenge our musicians that, there is no excuse now for them to claim that the musical instruments in this country are very expensive.

Mr Shawa: Hear, hear!

Mr Chinyanta: Mr Speaker, as a country, we are looking forward to those days when great musicians like Keith Mlevu, Ricky Illilonga, P. K. Chishala, Smokey Hangaala, Nashil Pichen Kazembe and others, even those who are still living like Ballad Zulu, could compose original Zambian songs that depicted our African culture. They sang songs that explained what we are, as Zambians. As a Government, this is what we were looking at when we put a zero tax on our musical instruments.

Sir, computer music is important, but technology should just enhance our music. It should not remove the human element in the music that we produce in this country. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of music in this country. Therefore, this Government has listened and has now thrown the ball in the hands of the musicians themselves to give Zambians what they actually deserve. This includes church choirs because they have also been crying that this country has got very expensive musical instruments.

Mr Speaker, with regard to ethno cultural tourism promotion, for the second-year running, in May, 2007, the ministry successfully hosted the African Freedom Dance. This festival has seen an increase in the number of participating countries from ten in 2006, to fifteen in 2007. This is an international event where the African countries display their rich diverse cultural heritage through music and dance at various venues here in Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, the festival has become so popular that it is now transforming Lusaka into and international centre for music and dance as well as the centre for cultural tourism. My ministry intends to spend a total of K300 million to host this year’s event. I would like to encourage hon. Members of this House to take time to visit some of these places where our own traditional music is played. Hon. Members and their loved ones should take time to attend some of these plays that are running in our centres so that we may appreciate our culture. We should know where we belong, where we come from and where are going, as Africans.

Mr Speaker, it is our considered view that the cultural industry is one sector which will help this nation to diversify from the dependence on copper to other areas of our economic development. This year, the ministry will spend a total of K1.8 billion to complete multi-purpose theatres at Maramba and Kapata cultural villages. All this human effort is to allow us, as Zambians, to exercise our talent as we visit these cultural villages and to appreciate what our culture heritage is all about.

Mr Speaker, another key achievement of the ministry is that last year, the Government, through the Department of Cultural Affairs, attracted qualified personnel in all disciplines of culture for purposes of improving our service delivery to our people. Additionally, the department now has offices at provincial and district level to support the preservation of our culture as well as the development of the cultural industry.

Mr Speaker, the ministry intends, through this Budget, to support the purchase of equipment and tools for twenty-two districts in order to help them run our ministries effectively.

Sir, still on the preservation, development and provision of arts and culture, the Government has been supportive in safeguarding our cultural heritage through the provision of grants to various organisations of traditional ceremonies and other State and public functions. I am sure you have seen that the ministry has organised entertainment at both national and international events such as the SADC Summit and the 2007 Kulamba Kubwalo Traditional Ceremony in Eastern Province where Zambia invited the Malawian and Mozambican Presidents. All this is in an effort to ensure that our culture and heritage is broadcast in an effective way. 

Ms Cifire: Nanga N’cwala?

Mr Chinyanta: Mr Speaker, my ministry remains committed to ensuring that the Government will continue to provide and facilitate socio-economic empowerment to the poor and vulnerable through the support of this good Budget. We will achieve even more this year with your support.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC): Mr Speaker, unlike Hon. Sakwiba Sikota, I wish to begin by acknowledging the brilliant Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Ng’andu Magande. This is one of the best Budget Speeches ever delivered by our hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, as far as my ministry is concerned, the measures prescribed in the Budget go a long way towards achieving what we have prescribed for ourselves in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and Vision 2030. Looking at the Budget in its entirety, there is no doubt that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and, indeed, the New Deal Government prepared the 2008 Budget with the Fifth National Development Plan and Vision 2030 in mind. As most hon. Members of this august House know, the thematic area of governance falls under my ministry and I wish to address myself to this area of governance. The theme of my speech should read as follows, “Unlocking Resources to Achieve Good Governance.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Sir, this is the direction of my speech. In the Fifth National Development Plan, the vision of our Government under governance has been summarised as follows:

“During the FNDP period, the Government will undertake a number of policies and reforms in the areas of constitutionalism, human rights, transparency and accountability, administration of justice and democratisation. The vision in this regard is ‘total adherence to principles of good governance by 2030.’”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker,

“The goals are to improve access to justice to effectively and efficiently manage free and fair elections, to promote and protect human rights equally for women, men, youths and children. To strengthen co-operation and collaboration among governance institutions, to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the National Assembly, to enhance its oversight of Government affairs, to enhance constitutional regime and the rule of law to achieve a significant reduction in corruption in Zambia and to embed good corporate governance practices in the public and private institutions.”

Mr Speaker, this statement is self-explanatory. Those who are sincere will acknowledge that our Government, through my ministry, has been trying its best to achieve these benchmarks. Further, in the areas of Public Safety and Order, the Fifth National Development Plan provides as follows in a nutshell:

“During the Fifth National Development Plan, the Public Safety and Order sector will consolidate its policy goals and objectives of maintenance of internal security in order to secure the continuity of a stable Government and the enjoyment of personal freedoms. In this regard, the Government will strive to build and maintain effect internal security institutions. The vision of a sector is to achieve a ‘safer and more secure Zambia by the year 2030.’ The goal is to preserve and maintain internal peace and security for national development.

All these are on Page 26 of the summary of the Fifth National Development Plan document.

Sir, the Budget Speech shows that our Government is very much concerned with matters of governance and Public Order and Safety. This is in line with the Fifth National Development Plan and Vision 2030. The 2008 Budget has pragmatically addressed issues of governance and those related to Public Order and Safety.

Mr Speaker, in the area of constitutionalism, we have established the National Constitutional Conference, a widely represented body which will adopt a new Constitution for this country through the mechanisms provided in the National Constitutional Conference Act, Number 19 of 2007. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has adequately budgeted for the National Constitutional Conference.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Sir, the National Constitutional Conference has been well received with about 498 delegates having taken oath. Interim statistics show that 139 hon. Members of Parliament, seventy-one councilors and eighteen chiefs have joined the NCC while 270 are from other categories. Within the conference, 125 of the delegates are women. The women and men who are in a conference will no doubt ensure that gender issues are taken care of. The response of Zambians to the NCC has been overwhelming. In fact, there is a mountain of applications from Zambians who would like to join the NCC…


Mr Kunda:… but we cannot accommodate all of them because of the restrictions in the law which we enacted in this august House.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members will recall the agitations from some NGOs to influence this august House to restrict entry into NCC. Of course, there are certain sections of our society and a few hon. Members of Parliament who have decided to boycott the NCC. This is the beauty of democracy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, while the majority of Zambians have embraced the NCC, it is not unusual in a democracy to have pockets of resistance, even to noble ideas.

Mr Speaker, it would be undemocratic for anybody to force those who have proved allergic to the NCC to join against their will.

Mr Speaker, notwithstanding this, however, the Chairman of the NCC, Hon. Chifumu Kingdom Banda, SC. has stated categorically that the doors to the NCC are still open and we in the Government share the same view. When the few hon. Members and other representatives who have boycotted decide to join the NCC, they will be welcome.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that in spite of these democratic principles, there are certain politicians in this country who are insulting and condemning those who have decided to join the NCC, while those who are participating in the NCC have been subjected to unprecedented verbal abuse and extreme provocation. Nonetheless, they have remained focused, civil, composed, level headed and resolute in their determination to contribute to this process. The tirade of insults has not derailed them. One may ask why this sort of disposition by those politicians who have boycotted the conference. The obvious answer is that some of these politicians are panicking because they know that the NCC is a reality and that a new Constitution will be adopted.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: They are just against the enactment of a new Constitution. Please, just swallow your pride and join us in the NCC.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, a scandalous document authored by the Patriotic Front was laid on the Table of this august House by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, hon. Member for Monze, which contains inexactitudes and concoctions to the effect that members of the NCC are receiving K1,550,000 per day as sitting allowance. This document has been distributed in Kanyama Parliamentary Constituency as campaign material. This is pure fiction of the worst kind. It is a total fabrication. 
Mr Speaker, members of the NCC are receiving the usual sitting allowance at the current rate of K500, 000 per sitting. Needless to say …

Hon. Opposition Members: Plus?

Mr Kunda: I am talking about sitting allowances.

Hon. Opposition Members: Plus?

Mr Kunda: …that the allowances are being received by virtue of the authority entrusted by this august House through the NCC Act. This level of allowance also applies to the National Assembly and the Government institutions. The same rate was also paid to Constitution Review Commission (CRC) Commissioners in sitting allowances. However, it is amazing that when the same amount of sitting allowance is received in Government institutions and in this august House, then it is okay, but when paid in the NCC, it becomes “blood money”. What kind of reasoning is this?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: The NCC will not be detracted from its legitimate business by this negative and malicious propaganda. We shall continue with our noble task of adopting a new constitution for this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, the NCC is an important institution which will deal with a lot of outstanding governance issues. For example, we know that electoral issues which were recommended by the Electoral Reform Technical Committee (ERTC) were referred to the CRC by the Government. Now, while we have introduced a new Electoral Act and implemented some of the recommendations of the ERTC, electoral issues have to be settled through the NCC.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Thus, we now have an opportunity to work together through the NCC and improve on our electoral process. Sir, we need free and fair elections in this country, especially, in 2011. There are a variety of electoral issues which we have to settle through the NCC.

Mr Speaker, it is also a fact, that some of the sticking constitutional issues make our governance system inefficient. For example, issues such as the Budget Cycle, the size and number of constituencies, gender representation, etc, need urgent attention. Some of us are in a hurry to change these aspects of the Constitution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National planning should continue budgeting for governance programmes in line with the Fifth National Development Plan. The Budget is the annual framework through which our vision on governance will be realised.

Mr Speaker, there are a number of other programmes which are budgeted for on governance, which I will explain when I present my policy statement on the budget for my ministry. The Budget Speech has highlighted certain governance allocations towards legislation, rehabilitation of courts and prisons, settlement of judgment debts by the State and so on. Sir, we shall strive to improve access to justice.

Mr Speaker, law reform as well as the fight against corruption will be given priority.

Mr Speaker, in the area of structural reforms, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has made reference the Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability (PEMFA) and the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS), as programmes which will improve on our public financial accountability. However, in addition to this, I wish to say that there is need to streamline our public procurement system. There is also need to reform legislation so that we can provide for preferential treatment of Zambians when it comes to public procurement and floatation of public tenders so that we can add meaning and life to the Citizens Empowerment Act.

Mr Speaker, therefore, in the area of law reform, we have realised that the Zambia National Tender Board Act is outdated and will require repeal and replacement …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: …so that we can take into account streamlined public procurement procedures.

Mr Speaker, I thought I should add these few remarks to the Budget Speech.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the many voices that have debated on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2008, which was presented to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, whose theme is Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation. Sir, I wish to be brief in my presentation because most of the issues have already been debated by my colleagues.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, I wish to be brief in my presentation as we debate this very important document.

Mr Speaker, it must be realised that this document is not only an MMD document, but for all including the people we represent as hon. Opposition Members of Parliament. In short, it is for all Zambians regardless of their political affiliation.

Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister was presenting this document, I listened very carefully and attentively. The hon. Minister ably spelt out all the successes, but little did he mention about any failures.

Sir, this is a one-sided story and it will be difficult for anybody to judge this Budget. If the hon. Minister had come up with a failures which they had the previous year or if they were highlighted and gave reasons for not achieving them, it would have been easier to have a very proper judgment over this Budget. Therefore, as hon. Opposition Members of Parliament, our duty is not only to oppose, but to ensure that we strengthen the checks and balances and proper accountability. Therefore, I wish to urge this Government to adequately fund the Office of the Auditor-General who has so far done a commendable job in bringing out some of these things that this Government has been doing.

Sir, we must also appreciate and fund these other law enforcement agencies. By so doing, a lot of things will be unearthed. His Excellency, the President has tried to fight corruption but, unfortunately, this is a lone crusade which he has taken. Even most of his people are not supporting this crusade.

Sir, I now wish to talk about poverty. According to statistics, they show that there is an increase of poverty in the rural setting where most of our people reside. We were hoping that upon attaining the HIPC, this Government was going to address more resources to the rural setting. Unfortunately this is not the case. People in the rural setting still continue to be living in poverty and this thing does not seem to be improving.  We, therefore, hope that more resources will be directed to rural areas and improve the living standards of these people. I do not see how we will be able to achieve the Vision 2030 which this Government has projected. Therefore, we would like to urge this Government to direct more resources to the b rural setting.

Sir, the struggle for poverty must be the centre of collectiveness. As a nation, we must put our heads and hands together so that we pull in one direction. Only in this way, will we be able to achieve some of these things. Let us demonstrate to the people that we represent that we are not only here to legislate, but to be initiators and implementers of socio-economic projects. In other words, we are agents of this change.

Sir, let us also show oneness as we always do when our National Team is on national duty. As Zambians, we should always put our hands together because their loss is a loss for the whole nation and when they win, we all share that win. Therefore, unless these problems of poverty, high unemployment levels, poor health delivery and bad state of roads are addressed, the targets and the Budget objective may not be achieved.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, much as we appreciate that funding is difficult to source, the hon. Minister must…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! That kind of behaviour is not very good for hon. Members of Parliament. You cannot be talking across the Floor when somebody is on the Floor.

Could the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, much as we appreciate that funding is difficult to source, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning must also realise that budgeting is not only about spending, but also about raising resources.

Sir, I am saddened by an article in today’s press where it is stated that the mine owners have refused to pay the new windfall tax. Really, for the first time, I did agree with Hon. Magande when he said that we did not need to consult those people. Therefore, if we are going to let this thing pass just like that, this country will be lawness. I would like to urge that we sit as one and ensure that we achieve these taxes which we are supposed to collect.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, I wish to talk about debt and aid policies. It is noted with gratitude that the question of domestic debt will be addressed. Because previous payments were delayed, suppliers used to inflate their invoices because they had to wait for a long time before they were paid. In short, it is important that the backlog to the Public Service Pension fund is cleared.

Sir, it is also sad that we have not looked at the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund. The council workers go for several months without getting their pension. Some even die in the process of waiting. So, we are urging this Government that they should also cater for these people at the superannuation fund.

Mr Speaker, the current floods will definitely affect the harvesting in some parts of the countries which, in turn, may lead to acute food shortage. It is hoped that this situation will be addressed soon by this Government.

As we are talking about the negative aspect of floods, I also wish to talk about the positive part of it. There is massive water which we are letting go to waste. The Government should come up with a deliberate policy, where we should harvest this water directly to dams. Like our neighbours in Namibia, they harness every drop of water, but for us, we are happy to see that this water goes to the ocean. Therefore, I would urge that this Government to put a deliberate pilot project nation-wide, which is dam construction. It will also be benefit to know what will happen to the irrigation funds.

Mr Speaker, still on agriculture. We must encourage and work with the Minster of Agriculture and Co-operatives to raise capital for relevant infrastructure, technology and skills necessary to create industrial plantation. I have in mind, the Mpongwe Agricultural Company and the Nakambala Sugar Estate. This is sweet success which this Government should really come up to encourage private partnership that many Zambia can also participate. We can do this by replicating this success story to other provinces. You can see Nakambala is standing on its own. However, even us Zambians we are able to do that.

Mr Speaker, I wish to talk about tourism. This sector can only develop by infusing cash in the infrastructure. The policy must be put in place by completing the infrastructures which have already been started. I have in mind, the Ndola International Airport. This airport has international runway standards, but this does not match with the buildings. The buildings of this international airport are from the Second World War and nothing has been done since. Therefore, I am urging the hon. Minister that in future we must allocate some resources for the upgrading of this airport. The spin off effects will be tremendous, as this will also cater for the new copperbelt which is in the North-Western Province.

Mr Speaker, I would also urge that we strengthen the empowerment programme which will favour our indigenous business men and women of this country.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to now state the needs of the people of Kabushi. Are these people catered for in this Budget? The people of Kabushi would need food on their table, affordable shelter, safe and clean water, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: … good health facilities, good road network, jobs and real money in their pockets. The list is endless, but as I indicated my constituency is compact and urgently needs one modern market. My area caters for the biggest market on the Copperbelt and over the years we have been crying for a modern market which the Deputy Minster of Local Government and Housing talked about. That will be suitable for my constituency. As he talks about the modern markets, these markets may cater for more than 20,000 people. I think this is the best time that this Government can give the people of Kabushi a modern market. These modern market facilities will streamline trading and the raising of council revenue.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about the police. We have a police camp in Masala which needs serious and urgent repair works.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about the road network. Many of the roads need to be re-constructed as most of them have not been worked on in the past so many years. I have two particular roads. The Chambeshi Road, the one which starts from Masala Roundabout to Lubuto Market. This road is in a bad state. In our culture, we always respect the dead. There is another road, the Kantolomba Road which leads to the cemetery. This road is in a bad state. So, I am urging this Government to do something to have these two roads worked on.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Msichili: It is sad, Mr Speaker, because yesterday as we were attending the RTC seminar, I noted with sadness that the entire Copperbelt was only allocated with 5 per cent of the total National Budget on the roads. Really, when you look at 5 per cent, this will not even be enough to do any single road in my constituency. We are really wondering because much of these, if we go to the Yellow Book, you will find that these funds are allocated to Mpongwe, Masaiti and Lufwanyama. Is this attributed to the voting pattern which the people of the Copperbelt did? Did we really deserve this because of the kind of voting which we had through the ballot?

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hammer!

Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, this country is for all Zambians. So, we must also be part of this.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, let me talk about schools. Like many other schools in this country, these schools do not have desks. However, I would want to mention one particular school in my constituency which is Kanini Basic School. Over this basic school, I wonder if we still have school inspectors in this country. If we had inspectors, by now, this school would have been closed. I am urging the Minister of Education to take time …

Hon. Members made noise.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! There is loud consultation. Please, can we consult quietly.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Msichili: Mr Speaker, I am requesting the Minister of Education to take time off his busy schedule, to tour these bad schools in this country. The former Minister, General Miyanda, toured most of these schools in this country. Therefore, I am urging the Minister to find time from his busy schedule and take time to visit these schools. I would even be surprised, hon. Minister, if you know where Munali Secondary School is because …

Hon. Government Members:  Aah!

Mr Msichili: … you might say it is in Kawama.


Mr Msichili: So, these are some of the things which the hon. Minister should be able to do. Indeed, as you say you are a listening Government …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Can you continue, please.

Mr Msichili: … but it is listening without ears or the ears are full of wax.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: Hon. Minister, take advantage of the doctor next to you, I am sure he will be able to clear part of the wax which is in your ears.


Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabushi in order to assume an advisory role which he is not capable of doing? Is he in order, Sir?


The Deputy Chairperson: Well, the hon. Minister says he is giving an advisory role which he is incapable of undertaking. So, the advice can be accepted or rejected.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Msichili: Thank you, Mr Speaker, it is a situation that, maybe, the doctor may not provide that service, maybe, the professor may provide it on the doctor or, maybe, he can also clear the doctor’s wax.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Msichili: Sir, finally, there is an advertisement which says, “when you pay, it shows”. I have been in this House for one year and five months but since coming to Parliament, I am surprised that even today when the programme called “Today in Parliament” is aired, former hon. Members of Parliament are the ones that are shown. Do we really need to go to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation station to tell them that times have changed and there are new hon. Member of Parliament in this House?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Msichili: Really, we must understand that there is need for change. I am sure that the hon. Minister is listening. Please, we need to change.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to add my voice to the 2008 Budget Speech given by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Ngandu Magande. The Budget was well focused in addressing many areas of our socio-economic development as a country. I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for a Budget that has been well received throughout the country and beyond.

Mr Speaker, with regard to education, the debate so far has been anchored on issues of access, equity …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order! I think that we are really consulting too loudly. The person debating cannot be heard. Why do we have a problem with consulting quietly? You can consult but do so quietly so that the other person can be heard as he debates.

Hon. Minister, continue.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, with regard to education, the debate so far has been anchored on the issues access, equity and quality in our educational system. I wish to show some of the achievements made in unlocking the national resources for developing the education sector since 2002.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: It is, however, important to indicate right from the outset that prior to 2002, the former Governments reduced expenditure on education. Real expenditure on education dramatically declined from 1984 throughout the 1990s where per capita expenditure was reduced drastically resulting in under of the education sector which led to cuts in non-salary recurrent expenditure and capital investments. These cuts in the funding of education is what contributed to the dilapidation in our infrastructure, less injection of educational materials, de-motivation of our teachers, to the  attritional  levels of our teachers and all the problems which we discuss or worry about in this House.

Mr Speaker, in February 2003, the Ministry of Education launched a five year strategic plan as a follow-up to the Basic Education Sub-Sector Implementation Programme (BESSIP) which recognised the need for prioritised investment in the education sector. The total budget for the ministry has cumulatively increased from K868,085,650,807 in 2005 to K1,913,396,655,426 in 2007 giving a total increase of 54 per cent for both external and domestic generated resources. 
Due to the pro-active policies of this Government, the education sector since then has achieved the following in the critical areas that have been of concern to the hon. Members:

(i) Access


The ministry has made tremendous strides in improving access despite, of course, of a number of challenges faced by the sector. The following figures show the achievements which have been made as a result of the concerted efforts of this Government to unlock resources to create education opportunities for our children.

At Grades 1 to 7, enrollment increased from 2,265,145 in 2004 to 2,822,759 in 2007 giving a 19 per cent increase over the last four years. At Grade 8 to 9 there were 253,996 pupils in 2004 and this rose to 343,551 giving an increase of 26 per cent in 2007 while at Grade 10 to 12 the figures rose from 158,238 to 219,132 giving a rise of 27.8 per cent in the same period. This is a clear indication of the commitment of this Government to the unlocking of resources in order to create opportunities for education of our children.

In February 2002, His Excellency, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, announced Free Basic Education (FBE) at Grades 1 to 7, a measure which was implemented immediately. This policy resulted in an enormous education cost reduction for parents by removing the burden of lower and middle basic education costs from parents’ shoulders thereby contributing to poverty alleviation. Several parents revealed that the removal of school fees enabled them to use the money for food, clothing and health care. Nearly 12,000 pupils in a sample of 353 schools who had dropped out of school because their parents could no longer afford fees returned to school. This represents, on average, 150,000 pupils returning to school every year. It is also important to note that the school grants allocation system under FBE and later under the Ministry of Education Strategic Plan (MoESP), favoured small rural schools resulting in 60 per cent of the communities benefiting from this provision.

Mr Speaker, enrolment in the fourteen colleges equally increased from 3,768 in 2002 to 5,543 in 2007 representing 47 per cent increase in college enrollments. There has also been a notable increase in student enrolment at both universities. At the University of Zambia there were 8,471 students enrolled in 2004 and this increased to 10,107 in 2007, giving an increase of 16 per cent while at the Copperbelt University, the figure rose from 3,090 students in 2004 to 4,155 in 2007 giving a total increase of 25.6 per cent. This is a clear indication that this Government is committed to increasing opportunities for tertiary education in our society.

Infrastructure development

Tremendous investments have been made in the area of infrastructure development since 2002. At Grade 1 to 12, a total of 6,492 classrooms were constructed by 2007 increasing the number of available classrooms from 27,346 in 2004 to 33,838 in 2007. In addition, a total of 2,184 staff houses have been constructed during the same the period increasing the number of available units from 16,662 in 2004 to 18,846 in 2007.

Mr Speaker, at high school level, there has been no new infrastructure development since the 1990s, when secondary schools were abandoned at Sioma, Kafumbo, Lumezi, Mwenzo, Chilubi and Mufumbwe and enrolments only marginally improved.

However, two new high schools in Eastern Province; namely Lumezi and Kafumbwe have since been reconstructed and in the 1990s, reliance was on upgrading method of basic schools to high schools, which of course, has since been stopped because it is not the right way to develop the education sector.

Mr Speaker, we are now constructing new high schools and in 2007, thirty-one high schools have been flagged for construction and these high schools are going to be constructed through out the country. Currently, there are constructions going on in various parts of our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: In addition to high school construction, we are constructing student hostels at the two universities. Right now, the construction work is going on. In addition, we are constructing academic facilities like lecture rooms in our colleges.

Mr Speaker, we have constructing student hostels and other academic facilities at the landmark institution, the Mulungushi University.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Professor Lungwangwa: In the area of equity under the re-entry policy in education, pupils who get pregnant are availed an opportunity to be re-admitted to school.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: For basic schools, the number of re-admissions increased by 47.4 per cent from 2,626 in 2004 to 3,870 in 2007 while at High School, the number increased by 35 per cent from 802 in 2004 to 1,082 in 2007.

In addition, the ministry has also intensified guidance and counseling and safe motherhood programme to provide more information on matters related to pupils’ welfare.

Mr Speaker, at the two public universities, in the area of equity, the ministry has put in place measures to provide for positive discrimination on reserving 30 per cent on available places to female students at enrolment. So far, the two universities are still striving to achieve this target. At the same time, the ministry has introduced a quota system in which 16 per cent of the total enrolment in each given year is allocated to students from the rural areas. This is to ensure that equity is provided for all the students across the country without any marginalisation. This policy has provided a total of 161 female and 674 male students from rural areas accessing university education between 2004 and 2007.

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker at the level of bursaries in the area of equity, at Upper Basic School, there were 13,993 pupils who accessed bursary support in 2004 with the number increasing to 84,009 in 2007, representing 500 per cent increase in the Basic Education Sector Bursary Programme. At High School, the number increased from 4,898 2004 to 19,591 in 2007, representing 36 per cent increase in bursaries support in the high school sector. This can be attributed to the Government’s policy and support in implementing the free basic education policy and support under the equity and gender programme for higher grades, which greatly reduce poverty levels by easing parents’ financial burden.

At the tertiary level, K63.6 billion was used to sponsor a total number of 19,122 students over the period 2004 to 2007 at University of Zambia, of which 10,060 students were sponsored at 75 per cent sponsorship. This was worth K33.2 billion, while 8,962 students were covered under the 100 per cent sponsorship. This is the equity dimension. This amounted to K30.4 billion in terms of expenditures on student bursaries for the period 2004 and 2007. At Copperbelt University, a total of 9,027 students benefited, of which 3,788 students were sponsored at 75 per cent, giving a total of K11.6 billion while 5,239 students were beneficiaries under the 100 per cent sponsorship scheme adding to K16.3 billion.

Mr Speaker, from 2004 to 2007, the Government has also spent K18.8 billion for students studying abroad in various countries, like China, Cuba, India, Russia, Algeria and Turkey. The funds were used to cover living allowances, insurance, accommodation and baggage allowances. A total number was 733 students were beneficiaries during the same period.


Mr Speaker, we have at the level of quality recruited 23,785 teachers between 2004 and 2007, thereby creating employment in our country and giving opportunities to the families.

In addition, we have made resources available for the procurement of desks, books and other educational materials. We have provided money for education quality improvement in the colleges and in the universities including funding for research which was never there before in the 1990s. This is what we mean by ‘Unlocking Resources for Education Support’.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Zambia Publishing House (ZEPH)

Professor Lungwangwa: Finally, may I also highlight the efforts the Government is making to improve the production of teaching and learning materials locally. The ministry has taken a measure to revitalise the Zambia Education Publishing House in 2007 to regain its position as a leading provider of learning and teaching materials.

In addition, the Zambia Education Publishing House is expected to continue to publish books of general interest to improve the reading culture in our country. A total of K3.5 billion has so far, been disbursed for recapitalisation efforts at Zambia Education Publishing House.

Mr Speaker, the Government is indeed, unlocking resources for empowering our people for human resource development of our country. This is a pre-requisite for wealth creation and employment generation, the knowledge, skills and attitudes of our people is the key that will unlock the doors to our prosperity. This Government is committed to this objective and this Budget is indeed, helping us to re-look critically at the way in which this Government is truly empowering our people. What has been indicated in this submission is exactly an evidence of how this Government is unlocking resources to improve the quality of life of our people.

With this, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present my ministry’s policy statement on the 2008 Budget.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is a critical ministry in the promotion of the social-economic development of this country in that, it is mandated to develop and ensure democratic local governance.

Mr Speaker, this is the ministry which also facilitates the efficient and effective delivery of quality housing, municipal infrastructure and social services by the local authorities. These services are, in fact, the foundation for an improved quality of life in the communities where the citizens lead a healthy and productive life.

Mr Speaker, to underscore this point, let me inform this august House on the functions of the local authorities or councils as stipulated in the Local Government Act, Cap 281. This is important and necessary because I would like hon. Members of this august House and indeed the country, to appreciate the mammoth task which is expected of this ministry, through local authorities which, indeed, does have an impact on poverty reduction.

Mr Lubinda: Tell Mulongoti.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, some of the critical functions of the local authorities are as follows:

Under agriculture, councils are expected to establish and maintain farms and allotment of gardens.

 Under advertisements, the councils are expected to prohibit and control the erection and display of advertisements and advertising devices in or in view of streets and other public places.

To take and require the taking of measures for the storage, market and preservation of agricultural produce.

Conservation of natural resources and the prevention of soil erosion including the prohibition and control of cultivation.

Councils are expected to take and require the taking of measures for control of grass weeds and wild vegetation and for the suppression and control of plant and insect pests and diseases;

To maintain, protect and control local forests and woodlands;

To control the keeping and movement of livestock;

To establish and maintain ponds;

To establish and maintain grazing grounds;

To take measures for the destruction and control of bees and of dangerous animals and reptiles;

To control the slaughtering of animals the meat of which is indeed intended for human consumption; to control the sale of such meat; and to require the disposal of diseased animals and carcasses and of meat which is unfit for human consumption;

To establish and maintain abattoirs, cold storage facilities and plans for the processing of by-products from abattoirs;

To control the movement of the carcasses of animals;

 To establish and maintain roads;

To exercise general control, care and maintenance of all public roads, streets, avenues, lanes, sanitary lanes and foot walks forming part thereof, bridges, squares, ferries and water causes and to remove all obstacles therefrom;

To close or divert any public roads, streets or thoroughfare;

To close or divert ferries and water courses;

To declare a street or road to be a public street or road;

To compel and maintain a register of all public streets and roads within their boundaries;

To make up to tarmac standards any private streets and to charge the statutory lease holders or occupiers of the land abating on such streets in proportion to frontage and to recover the costs as a civil gate;

To promote and control the erection and laying in under or over and the remover from streets and other public places;

 To prohibit, control traffic and the parking of vehicles and for that purpose to establish and maintain parking metres and premises for the parking of vehicles;

To take measures for the promotion of road safety;

To prepare and administer schemes for the encouragement of and participation of community development;

To establish and maintain a system of lighting in streets and other public places;

To establish and maintain fire fighting and prevention services;

To control persons and premises engaged in or use for the manufacture, preparation storage, handling, sale or distributions of items of food or drink;

To brew beer;

To establish and maintain premises for the sale of and to sell items of food and drink including beer and other intoxicating liquor for consumption on or off the premises;

To establish and maintain catering services;

To erect, purchase and maintain buildings used as dwelling or clubs and where it is in the public interest for use for business of professional purposes;

To erect, purchase and maintain buildings and facilities and encourage the erection of dwellings needed for the accommodation of persons residing within the areas of the council;

To prohibit and control the development and use of land and buildings and the erections of buildings in the interest of public health, public safety and the proper and orderly development of the area of the council;

To control the demolition and removal of building and to require the altering, demolition and removing of buildings which do not conform to plans and specifications in respect thereof approved by the council and buildings which are a danger in public health or public safety;

To require the statutory lease holder of land to do any of the following acts – to remove lower or trim to the satisfaction of the council any tree, shrub or hedge overhanging or interfering with traffic in any street or with any wires or with the works of the council;

To remove any dilapidated fence or structure on any public street or place; and

To paint, distemper, white wash or any colour wash the outside walls or not of any building forming part of the premises to tidy the premises.

Hon. Opposition Member: That is all.

Mr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I am deliberately saying this because it is important and it does relate to the Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. We have to break from the past to make hon. Members of Parliament, councillors and the public to begin to appreciate what the functions of local government are all about.

This should be done so that when you look at the money that is being allocated, it becomes easy for everybody to appreciate and to understand. Otherwise, it will be business as usual and when problems come to local authorities or, indeed, to the Government, people begin to wonder why we sometimes find ourselves in the manner in which we are today as it relates to money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Masebo: I am trying to emphasise the functions of the councils in relation to moneys that must go to the councils to do all these works. It is also to make the hon. Members of Parliament here understand what their functions are as members of the councils so that they should not come here to talk about a street in the bush in their village which has not been graded or which has not been named and think that it is us at the centre who should name a street in the village when they can do it without donor funding and indeed without central Government funding.

I would like the hon. Members of Parliament to bear with me because it is important. We need to break away from the culture of rhetoric without people understanding why we are there or the role of a particular institution.

Mr Speaker, I want to go further to the last part of this work and I will relate this to the Decentralisation Policy.

Mr Speaker, under Education, the council can establish and maintain colleges, schools and day nurseries nothing stops them because the Act does given them that function.

“To establish and maintain a public transport service. To establish and maintain environmental health services. To establish public amenities such as parks zoos gardens, pleasure grounds, camping grounds caravan sites and open spaces …

Dr Machungwa: Is it necessary for you to read the Act?

Mrs Masebo: It is necessary because some hon. Members might not even know that there are such things like camping grounds, caravan sites and open spaces.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Mr Lubinda: Mulongoti!

Mrs Masebo:

 “To establish and maintain cemeteries, crematoria and mortuaries …

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Dr Machungwa: Mwana shimya microphone.

Mrs Masebo: Iwe n iwe nshakakupele ndalama.

The Deputy Chairperson: Raise your point of order.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, it is not my habit to disturb the hon. Minister who has been debating so well, but really, could she be in order to have spent eleven minutes just reading the statute when she is supposed to be debating the Budget? Is that really in order because she is supposed to be telling us what her ministry is going to do with regard to the Budget or answer some of the myriads of questions and problems that have been posed by hon. Members? Is she really in order to spend more than half the time of her debate just reading the functions of the councils? Is she, really, in order to continue debating like that?


The Deputy Chairperson: Well, let us listen to her. That is her style of debate.

Continue, please, hon. Minister.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that. I will be through within a minute. It is necessary, as I said earlier, because we do not seem to know what we are doing even at that local level.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Things that are obvious are no longer obvious because people only think about certain things that they have got used to and have forgotten what their core business is. Therefore, to some extent, it necessary. I thank you for …

Mr Lubinda: Because people do not read Mwana, like Malwa.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Vibrant Sylvia!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, there are issues of Public Health. I talked about establishing and maintaining environmental health services and I was on Public Order.

“To control persons, premises and land engaged in or used for the holding of any fair, circus, fate or other entertainments, recreational assemblies to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access whether on payment or otherwise. To prohibit or control the collection of money from door to door and in the streets and other public places. To preserved public decency. To prevent damage and trespass to property, whether public private. To establish and maintain public information services; and advertise and give publicity to the advantages and amenities of the area of the council …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Lastly, there is the issue of Registration.

“To provide for and maintain – the numeration and registration of persons or properties for any purpose connected with administration of the area of the council. This includes the registration of death, marriages and birth. The registration of clubs whether women’s clubs, youth club; whatever club you may call it, whether ng’wang’wazi club, …


Mrs Masebo: …the councils do that.

“The registration of such transactions in connection with land charges as may be prescribed in any written law relating to land charges. Sanitation and drainage; to establish and maintain sanitary services for the removal and destruction of, or otherwise dealing with, all kinds of refuse and effluent, and compel the use of such services. To establish and maintain drains, sewers and works for the disposal of sewerage and refuse. To take and require the taking of measures for the drainage of water and, of course, control the carrying of offensive weapons; to establish and maintain weighing machines and lastly to establish and maintain the business of manufacturing wholesale retailer and, indeed, to undertake mining operations within their areas and even postal and telecommunications services.”

Mr Speaker, this is the work that is expected of councils, local government in short.

Mr Lubinda: So give us more money, Magande.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker: in this year’s Budget …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! She is debating and you are too close to her and you know the noise you are making will distract her attention.


Mr Lubinda: That one (pointing at Hon. Magande) should give us more money.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Lubinda, can you, please, listen.

Continue, please, hon. Minister.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, we have two heads. We have Head 29 which stands at K217,670,098,577 and this is representing an increase of 11 per cent over the 2007 Budget which was about K196,255,025,812. Under Head 20, Loans and Investments, we have K491,743,475,960 out of which K414.8 billion is from our co-operating partners and K76 billion as Government counterpart contribution.

Mr Lubinda: Waona, zachepa mwana!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the 2008 Budget has been planned to achieve all these functions that we are expected to implement.

Mr Kanyanyamina: Nkakwafwako. Iwe uli mwanakashi, wisakamana!


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, let me specifically go to Head 20, Loans and Investment which has a Budget has K491,743,475,960 million as I earlier alluded to of which K414.8 billion is from our co-operating partners and K76.9 billion is from Government in terms of counter part funds. This is specifically for two things. Firstly, it is for water supply and sanitation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Secondly, for housing construction and improvements. You will recall that I did explain a plan for water supply and sanitation under the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation whose Budget was over K400 billion. I am happy that for the first time, after so many years of crying, at least the money that is required for 2008 in order for us to attract the K400 billion has been provided in this year’s Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the plan was for over K1.4 trillion that is for the next ten years in order for us to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of 2015 which talks about, “Access to Water and Sanitation”, to our people by ensuring that we half the population without access to water supply and sanitation. I am happy that at least, this year’s Budget has made tremendous improvement in that area.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the other point is that of the K217,670,098,577 that has been put under Head 29, K114 billion is supposed to go to local authorities and this is going to be broken down as follows just as it was in 2007. K25 billion will go for restructuring of Local Authorities. We are continuing the programme. I am happy to say that in the last Budget, we did manage to clear at least most of the fifty-four District Councils. This year, we are going to deal with the fourteen municipalities and the four cities in terms of restructuring and paying outstanding arrears and grants.

Mr Speaker, I am also happy that last year, we gave K11.5 billion and this year, we will still give them a figure against the cities and municipalities so that we clear the backlog. In fact, I want to say that we have almost cleared the backlog to the Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASF) in as far as retirees’ benefits are concerned.

Sir, just to answer one hon. Member who talked about retirees under Local Government, we are dealing with that issue very decisively. I am happy to say that by next year, all things being equal, the issue of retirees who have never been paid since Mr Sata was hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will be a thing of the past.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Masebo: Mr Speaker, lastly, because I know that I am running out of time, I would like to briefly talk about the Constituency development Fund (CDF). I want to thank the hon. Members of parliament for the overwhelming support towards the CDF …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Masebo: …and I want to assure them that this administration is committed to ensuring that more money goes to the CDF.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Masebo: I also want the hon. Members to appreciate that we have moved steadily from K30 million, to K60 million, to K200 million and now, K400 million. Therefore, you are assured that for as long as you continue supporting the MMD Government, especially, in Kanyama Constituency …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Masebo: …come next year, we will have even more money …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Masebo: … given to this administration.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mrs Masebo: I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Well, she has beaten the Chair, but all the same, I will spare her.{mospagebreak}

Mr Chella (Wusakile): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to this year’s Budget Speech from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Magande. I want to state that it is only fair and proper to praise the Government where they have done well, and more so, to criticise where they have failed to deliver.

Mr Speaker, the theme for this year is Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation. Sir, I hope the wealth will be distributed equitably this time around.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Sir, I also want to say that I hope that this time around, someone will not go and build seven schools in his constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, seven schools in one constituency is unreasonable. All of us are national leaders and, therefore, let us avoid being greedy with our resources. Let us share. Seven schools for one constituency is too much.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Chella: The person knows what he is doing.

Mr Speaker, the Government is talking about improving social services. This is very encouraging and I hope and trust that this time around, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will look into the issue of toilets in Wusakile Township because this town is an eyesore.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, I have said before in this House that the communal toilets in Wusakile are in a deplorable state.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member, advice had been given earlier, I think a few days ago, when the Hon. Mr Speaker, advised that really when you come to a question of toilets, I believe the hon. Member is a councillor and these are issues which we expect the hon. Members to take up in the council meetings. Therefore, can you continue, since advice had been given earlier.

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, I respect your advice, but I want to say that this is a colossal sum of money which the council, on its own, cannot manage. It needs the central Government to come in and help. I am talking about the toilets and there are no toilets at all.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You see, you are qualifying the Chair’s ruling. Could you move on to another topic.

Could the hon. Member please, continue.

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, I am still talking about sanitation. How do you expect and talk about the provision of good health to people and how do you expect that in Wusakile we can go by the theme “Keep Zambia Clean” when the sanitation is so poor and terrible?

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: The people of Wusakile have suffered enough. That township has provided and generated a lot of income for this country. People who worked for the mines do not deserve to continue living the way they are living.

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: I would be happier if the hon. Minister was paying more attention because she is a listening hon. Minister but this time around, I hope she will listen to the cry of the people of Wusakile.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: She is the only person with the key to unlock the sanitation of Wusakile.


Mr Chella: She is the only person who can unlock the situation and problem of Wusakile and the master key can be provided by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Therefore, I have no doubt that everybody, including myself, that she will listen to this cry.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about roads.

Mr Speaker, most of the roads in our country are impassable. How do you expect to develop the country and reduce poverty levels without roads and when the feeder roads are not there?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, roads in my constituency are in a terrible state, especially Fredrick’s Road. This road serves most of the farmers, both commercial and small-scale farmers. Yet, the road has never been rehabilitated for last fifteen years. Now, the farmers are failing to take their produce to the market. What a waste of produce. People are suffering and they cannot find a market. People in my constituency produce a lot of tomatoes and keep chickens which could reduce the poverty levels of the people Kitwe.

Mr Speaker, last year, money was allocated to this road and the down payment was given to the contractor but, to date, nothing has been done. I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to liaise with the RDA. Maybe, they will get a better answer because I have tried to talk to the road engineers, but I have never had nay answer.

Mr Speaker, Let me now come to education.

Sir, most of the schools in my constituency are in bad state. I, therefore, want to remind the hon. Minister of Education that it is the duty of the Government to rehabilitate schools. We need to unlock money to come to my school. Teachers are not looked after properly. How do you expect to achieve better results from our children when you cannot remunerate our teachers well? It is not possible. Hon. Minister, the key to this nation is education. I just hope that you will do better and think twice that this is done for the betterment of the country.

 Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, let me also commend the Government for facilitating the construction of the SOS school to serve our souls in my constituency.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: The school is doing very well and mostly it caters for the orphans.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, it is only fair that I give praise. I started by saying, I would praise where it is due and I would criticise where they have failed. They have done well, therefore, I do not see any reason why I should not say, you have done well.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, I am going back to my hon. Minister …

Hon. Members: Which one?

Mr Chella: Minister of Local Government and Co-operatives. I would like to commend the Minister of Local Government and Housing, ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: … Hon. Masebo and the Government at large …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: … for rehabilitating the water supply in Malembeka and Luangwa townships …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: … in my constituency. Mr Speaker, the residents of Luangwa have now piped water after a long time.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: We mean well.

Mr Chella: I have been a councillor there for almost four years and I know the suffering of those people and what they went through. People have died through going to Kafue River to fetch water. Now, it is a thing of the past.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Thank you very much, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chella: Yes, honourable, I agree with you, but I think last year …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, let me commend those men and women who are participating in the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, the Constitution is a national issue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: It is above partisan politics.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: That we should bear in mind. I would also like to say that I have no problem at all with those who have decided not to attend the NCC.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, my problem is with those who are inciting people to beat the Members of Parliament who are attending the NCC.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: Mr Speaker, this person has gone further to insult us that we are stupid, drunkards, vagabonds and that some of us were found in streets before we came to this Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Chella: It is shameful to such a person. I find it very difficult to call such a person as honourable.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chella: If I had my way, I would call him a thug, but not honourable.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member for Wusakile, although you have finished, you will not get away with that. I think do not call hon. Members thugs. So, that, I believe is unacceptable.

The hon. Minister of Health.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Thank you, Mr Speaker, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us keep order.

Hon. Minister of Health, can you continue, please.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity given to me to contribute to the motion on estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2008. This Budget has been very well received by well meaning people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by reminding this House that this country has a vision to attain middle income status by 2030. Given the two way relationship that exists between economic development and health, we shall do well as a country to prioritise provision of social services because when all is said, the most critical input to development in human capital.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Beside the fact that human health is unending itself, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! It appears we are not interested in listening. He is making an important statement and I sure that he will respond to some of the queries that were made by hon. Members but we do not seem to want to listen. Both on my Left and Right, can we give the hon. Minister time to debate.

Hon. Minister continue.

Dr Chituwo: Besides the fact that human health is unending itself, health increases the potential of human beings to contribute to national development. It has well been said that the wealth of a nation is in its health. Health improves the quality and quantity of human resources both now and in future. Better health for workers provides direct and immediate benefits by increasing worker productivity, reducing absenteeism from work and lengthening the expected working life.

Mr Speaker, there is, therefore, little wonder that the MMD New Deal Administration continues to attach a lot of importance to the health sector as reflected in the budgetary allocation to the sector demonstrated by an increase in the budget share for health from 10.7 per cent in 2007 to 11.5 billion per cent of the National Budget in 2008.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo:  As noted in the Budget speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, the Ministry of Health has made substantial progress in expanding coverage of health services. Hon. Members of Parliament are aware that in 2006 the MMD Government took a bold decision to abolish user fees in fifty-four rural districts as a way of increasing access to health services by the poor. Since then, the policy of abolishing user fees has been extended to eighteen municipal and city districts for health facilities lying outside a radius of 15 and 20 kilometres respectively from the town centres.

Mr Speaker, the Government has also continued with the programme of infrastructure rehabilitation and development. Construction of thirty-three health posts and district hospitals in Chadiza, Mumbwa, Samfya, Shang’ombo, Kaoma, Isoka and Kapiri Mposhi is underway.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: More sites have been identified for commencing interval hospital construction. These measures are aimed at improving access to health services by reducing distances that people have to travel to access both basic services as well as referrals.

Mr Speaker, the health sector continued to face the human resource crisis mainly triggered by the loss of trained health workers who are migrating to other countries in search of better working conditions. In response to this challenge, the Government recruited 1,100 workers in 2007 and a further 1,900 health workers will be recruited in 2008. At the same time, the Government will work on strengthening and expanding the retention scheme to cover not only doctors in the remote areas but also tutors, nurses and other paramedical staff. One factor which makes a significant contribution to the brain drain is lack of suitable accommodation for our health workers. In response to this challenge, the Government has put in place a programme to construct houses for health workers especially in the rural areas.

Aside from human resources, another critical input in health service provision is drugs and medical supplies.

The key bottle necks with regard to drug supply include inadequate of funds, slow procurement processes and a not so efficient logistics management system.

The 2008 Budget for the Ministry of Health will seek to address some of these challenges and make fined remedies. Programmes have been designed to ensure a smooth drug procurement and distribution system and to ensure availability of adequate essential drugs in our health systems.

Mr Speaker, the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to be a major challenge in as many as 30,960 cases diagnosed in 2007. The Government will continue to prioritise the HIV/AIDS programme through expansion of HIV Counseling and Testing Services and increasing the number of site providing antiretroviral therapy services.

I am happy to note that as many as 137,000 of our people living with HIV/AIDS had access to antiretroviral therapy starting in 2007.

Mr Speaker, I want to mention here that health status depends not only on provision of quality health services, but also on other social economic factors. We all know, for example that an important link exist between poverty and ill-health. Indeed, diseases such as dysentery and cholera are strongly colorated with poverty status. As such, developments which impact on poverty levels simultaneously impact on the health status of the population.

In this regard, the indication in the Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that living the conditions monitoring survey of 2006 has recorded a drop in poverty levels from 68 per cent in 2004 to 64 per cent in 2006, is indeed good news. Although I note that when makes a piecemeal targeted surveys, then they produce different results.

I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning referring to this wider survey will confirm this trend. We also note that there is still more poverty in rural areas and this impacts on the availability and the linkage with health services. As a health, we shall therefore, support efforts to consolidate the measures that have slowed the significant reduction in urban poverty while at the same time, strengthening programmes to reduce rural poverty.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health will get the benefit from the programme for rehabilitation of damaged rural roads which should open up the rural areas for investment to uplift the living standards of our people. This programme will make it easy to transport drugs to health centres and under Take Outreach Maternal and Child Health Programmes like immunization and growth monitoring. It will also contribute to the strengthening of the patient referral system. In this regard, the significant allocation of K1.1 trillion to the road sector is indeed, a welcome development.

Mr Speaker, agriculture remained a key sector for the nation’s economic development. The focus in 2008 will be in improved cash crop production, livestock and fisheries development. Programmes that enhance crop production such as the Fertiliser Support Programme and irrigation development will continue to be supported. In livestock development, key programmes include active disease monitoring and control and restocking of livestock.

Mr Speaker, the health status also critically depends on nutrition. It is my view that the measures that the Government has put in place such as Fertiliser Support Programmed to small-scale farmers will go a long way …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)

The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 13th February, 2008.




143. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) how many local and foreign investors had been issued with mining licences to start mining activities in Bahati Parliamentary Constituency;

(b) for what minerals had been the licences at (a) above issued;

(c) how many tonnes of minerals had been mined from 2001 to 2007, year by year; and

(d) who the mine owners at (c) above were.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, one large scale prospecting licence No. PLLS 251 under a joint venture between a Zambian and a foreign investor (British); Three small-scale mining licences; and One gemstone licence.

The licences at (a) above were issued for the minerals indicated below:

Licence Holder Licence No. Date of Issue Commodity

Mr Emmanuel SML 243 1/7/05 for a period of Manganese
Chungu  of ten years

Mr Evason SML 268 14/9/06 for a period of Manganese,
Mukonde Seketi  five years Copper

Sakeni Mining SML 239 8/7/05 for a period of Manganese,
  five years Copper

Emmanuel GL 365 29/10/99 for a period of Gemstones
  ten years

The House may wish to know that a total of 5,200 tonnes of manganese were produced by Sakeni Mining from the time the licence was granted in July 2005. The other mines are not producing because they are not active.

Mr Speaker, the mine owners at (c) are: Emmanuel Chungu SML 243; Evason Mukonde Seketi SML 268; Sakeni Mining SML 239 and Emmanuel Kunda GL 365.

I thank you, Sir.


146. Mr Hamududu asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services:

(a) how effective the Cash Transfer Scheme has been so far;

(b) how many people have benefited from the scheme in Monze District; and

(c) how transparent and practical the method of selecting the beneficiaries has been.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, according to the results of the interim evaluation that was done on the pilot social cash transfer scheme between 2004 and 2005, it was found that the scheme was very effective in terms of targeting, delivery, management and impact. In terms of targeting, the scheme was found to target the correct beneficiaries in general. However, there were small errors in targeting attributable to human error, as well as levels of vulnerabilities of different areas in which the scheme is operational. With respect to delivery, all beneficiary households received their cash according to schedule without loss in income. Finally, the scheme used only 19 per cent of the total resources used for the scheme when we, include Government salaries and 13 per cent when we exclude Government salaries.

Regarding impact, the scheme recorded a number of achievements which include, increased school enrolment of children coming from beneficiary households; improved nutritional status and health of beneficiaries; improved economic welfare and status of beneficiary households, as well as improved business prospects for areas in which the scheme was operational.

Mr Speaker, There are 1,504 beneficiary households in Monze District. However, the scheme is expected to scale up by the end of July 2008 to cover 3,500 households.

Mr Speaker, the scheme has a number of features which help its selection process to have minimal errors and ensure transparency. The process starts at community level up to the district level. The steps are as follows:

(i) Application form for each and every household

The Community Welfare Assistance Committee (CWAC) lists all extremely needy and incapacitated households in each village and interviews them for eligibility. Once satisfied that they meet the criteria, the CWAC make these households to fill in application forms. The CWAC also ranks the households in terms of the most vulnerable in that village.

(ii) Verification of information by the headman information of beneficiary household is verified by the headman of each village.

(iii) Verification of ranking by the community

The CWAC ranks all households from various villages in a community according to vulnerability. The list of proposed beneficiary households is openly displayed and then approved at a community meeting. The CWAC gives the rationale why those households were selected in that particular order.

(iv) Check by the area Coordinating Committee

The area co-ordinating committee counterchecks the approved list from CWACS and approves them.

(v) Check by the district welfare assistance committee

The district welfare assistance committee (DWAC) similarly approves list from the area coordinating committees.

(vi) Regular visits by the DWAC

CWACS and ACCS office, there are regular visits by committees to beneficiary households to monitor how the scheme is working.

(vii) Exclusion form

When a CWAC member observes that a certain household is not meeting the criteria, he/she can secretly fill in an exclusion from with the district Social Welfare Officer, who will investigate the case and take appropriate action.

(viii) Retargeting

After 2 years, the targeting is updated to include the necessary changes such as exclusion of some households which may have moved out of critical poverty.

I thank you, Sir.